Skip to Content

Rene Hurlemann; drugging the population

German university study suggests drugging population to accept migrants

Researchers from the University Hospital Bonn says oxytocin reduces "xenophobia" and increases altruistic behavior, even in those with a fear of non-Germans. Social pressure, they say, also help populations to accept foreigners.

Published: August 16, 2017, 11:12 am

    Bonn

    The recent migration of Middle Eastern and other foreigners into Europe has magnified the large divide in German society between people who do and do not support open borders.

    A team of researchers at the University of Bonn, the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa (USA), and the University of Lübeck conducted three experiments on 183 German subjects, under the psychiatrist’s supervision.

    Generally speaking, people are more altruistic to their own family and friends than to perfect strangers. “This is partly due to evolution: Only through solidarity and cooperation within one’s own group was it possible to raise children and survive when competing against unknown and rivaling groups for scarce resources in pre-civilized times,” prof. Rene Hurlemann from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn Medical Center explained.

    “From a neurobiological perspective, the basis of xenophobia and altruism is not yet precisely understood,” Hurlemann added.

    At the Laboratory for Experimental Economics (BonnEconLab) at the University of Bonn, the German subjects completed a donation task “online”.

    The experiment involved over 100 participants, and looked at the personal attitudes towards migrants in a questionnaire. Then half of the group received the bonding hormone oxytocin via a nasal spray, while the other half of the group received a placebo before they were made to decide which participants would get the biggest share their 50 euros in donations.

    Under the influence of oxytocin, the individuals who tended to show a positive attitude towards migrants doubled their donations to both the locals and the refugees. However, oxytocin had no effect in individuals who expressed a rather defensive attitude towards migrants: In those participants, the tendency to donate was very low to locals and migrants alike. “Oxytocin clearly increases generosity towards those in need, however, if this altruistic fundamental attitude is missing, the hormone alone cannot create it,” says Hurlemann.

    But oxytocin in combination with social norms could decrease “xenophobia” the team suggested. In the next experiment, they presented the participants with the average donation their peers made in the first experiment. Half of the participants once again received oxytocin.

    The result was astounding. “Now, even people with negative attitudes towards migrants donated up to 74 percent more to refugees than in the previous round,” Marsh said. Thus, oxytocin combined with a social norm, increased the donations for migrants in those skeptical towards immigration, reaching almost half of the sums donated by the group which showed a positive attitude towards foreigners.

    Pairing oxytocin with social pressure can help counter the effects of a natural reaction to foreigners, a politically charged issue.

    “The combined enhancement of oxytocin and peer influence could diminish selfish motives,” says Hurlemann. “Given the right circumstances, oxytocin may help promote the acceptance and integration of migrants into Western cultures,” says Hurlemann.

    Publication: Nina Marsh, Dirk Scheele, Justin Feinstein, Holger Gerhardt, Sabrina Strang, Wolfgang Maier, Rene Hurlemann: Oxytocin-enforced norm compliance reduces xenophobic outgroup rejection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), DOI: doi/10.1073/pnas.1705853114)

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Ukraine, a terror state?

    New leader of Donetsk People’s Republic: The former leader of Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko was assasinated by Ukrainian Security Service.

    Luxemburg minister swears at Salvini as immigration summit turns ugly

    This past week the interior ministers of the member states of the European Union met in Vienna where Jean Asselborn, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, inadvertently boosted conservatives.

    Dalai Lama in Sweden: ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’

    The Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lamas message is that Europe belongs to Europeans and refugees should return to their home countries as soon as the danger is over. Swedish journalists quickly changed from celebrating the peace laureate to suggesting the old monk is ignorant.

    French conservatives question proposed Arabic teaching at schools

    French conservatives on Tuesday criticised the "revival of teaching of Arabic" in schools welcomed by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. 

    Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

    The "moderate" rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime.

    Dutch government supported armed groups designated as terrorists

    The HagueThe Dutch government supported an armed group in Syria that has been labeled as a terrorist organisation by the country's own Public Prosecution Service.

    Anti-establishment sentiment grows in Sweden

    The establishment parties dropped in yesterday’s election in Sweden, but far from what would be expected from early polls. The Social Democrats and Conservatives remain the biggest parties, with anti establishment Sweden Democrats at third place, growing from 12.9 to 17.6 percent. However, the party could still play an decisive role, since the difference between the socialist and conservative block is one single seat.

    Marine Le Pen welcomes rise of Sweden Democrats

    Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Rally - formerly known as the National Front - welcomed the rise of the Sweden Democrats.

    Swedish elections: Anti-immigration party set to be largest

    Today the Swedes are going to vote for a new parliament, as well as regional and local representatives. The anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats are expected to rise to the position of biggest party, while a completely new Alternative for Sweden has a chance to enter the parliament.

    Spain’s new Matteo Salvini?

    The new Italian government, under the leadership of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has managed to stop the flood of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. But now Spain is struggling. Who will lead Spain out of the quagmire?

    Go to archive