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Pathological Altruism$
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Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan, and David Sloan Wilson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738571

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738571.001.0001

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Seduction Super-Responders and Hyper-Trusters

Seduction Super-Responders and Hyper-Trusters

The Biology of Affiliative Behavior

Chapter 27 Seduction Super-Responders and Hyper-Trusters
Pathological Altruism

Karol M. Pessin

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews pathological altruism in the context of social biology. In particular, the focus is on the biology that may underlie a “seduction super-responder”—that is, a person who is highly reactive to social persuasion, as well as a “hyper-truster—one who misplaces trust as a result of failing to adequately detect social signals. Oxytocin, vasopressin, CD38, and related molecules are explored in this context. Group behaviors, as for example emotional contagion, are discussed in the context of autonomic reactions. Pathological altruism may be viewed as a distorted, and possibly co-opted, response to social signals based, at least in part, on biology.

Keywords:   altruism, CD38, oxytocin, seduction, social biology, trust, vasopressin, social signals

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