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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 8 (2), 291-5

Moral Elevation Can Induce Nursing

Randomized Controlled Trial

Moral Elevation Can Induce Nursing

Jennifer A Silvers et al. Emotion.


There is little extant research on the psychological or physiological response to witnessing good deeds. The authors call the emotional reaction to virtue "moral elevation" and the authors examined its effects on mother-infant dyads. Breastfeeding women who watched a morally elevating video were more likely to nurse their infants and were marginally more likely to hug them, compared to women who watched an equally enjoyable comedy video. Both of these effects suggest that moral elevation may involve the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with lactation and affiliation.

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