Oxytocin May be Used by Military as Interrogation Tool
Oxytocin’s trust inducing properties have been widely documented in recent years, earning the hormone the tag of the ‘Trust Hormone’. However, where there is trust, there is always the potential for the abuse of trust, and some people have expressed concerns that it is only a matter of time before oxytocin will be used by nefarious individuals in order to dishonestly gain somebody’s trust.
Here, a writer speculates on whether the military will inevitably try to make use of oxytocin in order to break down enemies withholding information during interrogation :
In its current synthetic forms—over-the-counter “Liquid Trust” and “Oxytocin Factor” sprays—oxytocin would have little use for interrogators. But researchers are working on a pill that would stimulate oxytocin production in people’s brains, making the effect much stronger.
Instead of using interrogation techniques that threaten to harm detainees and have been repeatedly proven to be ineffective, interrogators could play “good cop” with detainees. With the added edge of oxytocin, they could “tip the balances a little,” says Larry Young, a researcher who studies the hormone at Emory University near Atlanta.
“The effects we’re seeing from oxytocin today are really just the tip of the iceberg,” Young says. “Instead of getting them to sniff the obvious bottle of oxytocin, we could put a pill in their coffee and cause their brain to be flooded with oxytocin. You’re not getting a truth serum, but you’re getting them to trust you.