A study performed by researchers at Concordia University has found that a sniff of oxytocin nasal spray can improve a person's self-confidence and ease social anxiety. It is hoped that the findings, long suspected but until now not confirmed, will soon lead to oxytocin nasal spray being prescribed as a form of medication for sufferers of shyness and other forms of social anxiety.
Participants inhaled from a nasal spray that contained either oxytocin or a placebo. After an hour and a half, participants completed a questionnaire that evaluated for neuroticism, extraversion, openness to new experiences, agreeableness and conscientiousness.
"Participants who self-administered intranasal oxytocin reported higher ratings of extraversion and openness to experiences than those who received a placebo," says head Researcher Christopher Cardoso, a graduate student in the Concordia Department of Psychology. "Specifically, oxytocin administration amplified personality traits such as warmth, trust, altruism and openness."