Scientists from the University of Bonn in Germany think they should drug people with oxytocin to make them more welcoming to immigrants.
The scientists wanted to test the hypothesis that social conditioning combined with doses of Oxytocin would increase the likelihood and amount of donations to refugees from the Middle East. The participants were given 50 Euros and had to decide how much money to donate to 25 local people in need versus 25 refugees in need. The kicker is that at the end if there is any money left over they get to keep it. Once the drugs and the societal pressure kicks in though, people were reportedly much more likely to hand over their cash.
The person in charge of the study, Professor Rene Hurlemann, said that society developed “xenophobia” as an evolutionary means of survival. However, Hurlemann doesn’t seem to care much about that. Hurlemann wants to investigate the mechanisms of xenophobia on the neurobiological level. So, to do that, he decided to drug people with happy pills and see if that would make them more accepting of immigrants.
This is what counts as science today – a study the figured out that if you give people more Oxytocin and you tell them it’s normal to give money to refugees that they’ll give more money to refugees. Perhaps these scientists should take a literature class. In 1931, Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, in which people were given a drug called soma in order to sooth them and incapacitate their ability to think critically. It did not end well for them.