Today’s So Money podcast guest is a scientist, prolific author and public speaker. But that’s not all. Dr. Paul Zak has the very unique job title of Neuroeconomist. Dr. Zak has degrees in mathematics and economics and also has post-doctoral training in neuroimaging. In 2004, his lab discovered that the brain chemical oxytocin allows us to determine whom we can trust. Since then, he has continued to study the chemical, and his current research has shown that oxytocin is responsible for virtuous behaviors, working as the brain’s “moral molecule.” This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for civilization and modern economies, improve negotiations and treat neurologic and psychiatric disorders. The possibilities are endless. He has also written a book called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity about his discoveries on oxytocin. He has a fascinating perspective on decision-making and finance, and I’m very excited to learn more from him.
Three takeaways from my interview with Paul Zak:
- What it means to be a neuroscientist
- How oxytocin plays a role in the financial choices we make
- Zak offers his take on how to solve the Greek debt crisis
One of my favorite quotes from the interview: “You’re nice to me, my brain makes oxytocin and it motivates me to reciprocate and be nice to you” – Click to Tweet