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TEDxAmsterdam 2012 Paul J. Zak The biology of Good and Evil by Mind Map: TEDxAmsterdam 2012
Paul J. Zak
The biology of Good and Evil
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TEDxAmsterdam 2012 Paul J. Zak The biology of Good and Evil


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Paul J. Zak, @pauljzak, Founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University (California

Paul J Zak's talk at TED Global 2011

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Was interviewing a prisoner


in her 40s

arrested 14+ times for dealing meth

selling meth was the way to support herself

How did she get where she was and how can we change her life course?

couldn't tell her mother that she loved her

her mother wasn't a good mother..

'Moral molecule'


more information about the book

WSJ article about this research

People are



what is the switch point

i'm sceptic when i talk to people

'You're nice to me, i'll be nice to you'


1 Split 100 euro's between two people

2 You have to make an offer to split the money

3 If the other refuses the offer, the money will have to be burned

Answer of Lisa


"If you are a drug dealer and you lie, you die"

Moral molecule for 5% it doesn't work for

They often lack empathy

psychopaths for example

Don't connect emotionally to people around us

Individuels who've had a bad youth

They don't show empathy

The don't make oxytocine

People need to be nurtured

A reason why Lisa turned out the way she did

Her mother used so much meth that her natural caretaking system didn't work anymore

Tests oxytocine on himself



take more risks

You create 'alpha males'

If i'd do the expirement in an hour now

outcome will be different

Swiss man

Marries Russian woman

She want's a divorce

he kills her

being held in prison

he blames his lawyer for killing his wife?

this was because he couldnt feel love

legal responses

On last day of trial the admits guilt

Gets life instead of death penalty

In jail writes 4 page letter

Containing Paul Zak's theories

Saying his lawyer doesn't make oxytocine and that he's a pshychopath


Is love

tell people you love that you love them

They'll reciprocate

And you'll feel love too