The Moral Molecule by Paul J. Zak

73%

8 Critic Reviews

Explaining his use of cutting-edge research to undercut Gordon Gekko's infamous mantra (“Greed is good”), Zak is engaging, entertaining and profound.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A Revolution in the Science of Good and Evil

Why do some people give freely while others are cold hearted?

Why do some people cheat and steal while others you can trust with your life?

Why are some husbands more faithful than others—and why do women tend to be more generous than men?

Could they key to moral behavior lie with a single molecule?

From the bucolic English countryside to the highlands of Papua New Guinea, from labs in Switzerland to his campus in Souther California, Dr. Paul Zak recounts his extraordinary stories and sets out, for the first time, his revolutionary theory of moral behavior.  Accessible and electrifying, The Moral Molecule reveals nothing less than the origins of our most human qualities—empathy, happiness, and the kindness of strangers.
 

About Paul J. Zak

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PAUL J. ZAK , PH.D., is Professor of Economic Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. As the founding director of Claremont's Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, he is at the vanguard of neuroeconomics, a new discipline that integrates neuroscience and economics. He has a popular Psychology Today blog also called The Moral Molecule, and has been featured in many articles, including those in The New York Times, Scientific American, Fast Company, and Time. He lives in southern California.
 
Published May 10, 2012 by Plume. 254 pages
Genres: Other, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Moral Molecule
All: 8 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 01 2012

Explaining his use of cutting-edge research to undercut Gordon Gekko's infamous mantra (“Greed is good”), Zak is engaging, entertaining and profound.

Read Full Review of The Moral Molecule | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 27 2012

he demonstrates the intriguing possibility that oxytocin orchestrates the generous and caring behavior we all endorse as moral.

Read Full Review of The Moral Molecule | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

SF CrowsNest

Below average
Reviewed by Contributed by Geoff Willmetts on Jul 01 2012

I suspect even Paul Zak himself would be the first to admit that his research is on-going and that he is still learning...Hopefully, Zak is considering coming up with a fresh test.

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Target Training International

Excellent
Reviewed by Ron Bonnstetter on Sep 11 2012

This is a great read that gives the “why” behind much of human behavior. I believe that understanding is power and Zak gives us plenty of power in this book

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The Dana Foundation

Below average
Reviewed by Loretta Flanagan-Cato on Jul 30 2012

Dr. Zak does not consider the possible roles of oxytocin in these aspects of moral behavior, which often require higher cognitive processing than a pro-social impulse. Thus, although “moral molecule” is a catchy nickname, it is imprecise.

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Pure Politics

Good
Reviewed by Wilson Trivino on May 15 2012

This book is fascinating and is writing in simple terms that even someone without a PhD can understand.

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Popular Science

Good
Reviewed by Brian Clegg on Sep 06 2012

I really thought for the first few pages this would be one of those wince-making books where a scientist features himself as star, but actually it’s one of the best popular science books I’ve read this year. Recommended.

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The Tattooed Book

Good
Reviewed by Cara on May 24 2012

The Moral Molecule is not only completely fascinating but a joy to read. It finds the perfect balance between being accessible enough to be understood by all but never too simple to lose the readers full attention.

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Reader Rating for The Moral Molecule
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 48 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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