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Learning Leaders: Get The Science and Get Ahead

The Center for College & Career Readiness invests thousands of dollars each year to obtain the most recent research from leading scholars and practitioners.

If you are a learning leader, researcher, or practitioner, we invite you to join our partner community for regular research briefings.

EMAIL Admin@EdCenter.org with subject line “Get Me Research” and we’ll add you to the list!

What We Are Reading Now—Interesting Articles Related to Recent Projects

If you lead a team, you must read this Harvard Business Review article from our colleague Dr. Paul Zak on the power of Oxytocin, Trust, and Organizational outcomes.


A must-read for educators, this foundational research may change how you think about the learning experience.


Want to learn on your own?  Here’s a short list of research you will find interesting.

Sign up for access or search for them on your own.  They will change the way you think about thinking.

P.J. Zak, R. Kurzban, and W.T. Matzner, “The Neurobiology of Trust,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1032(2004): 224-227. 

P.J. Zak, R. Kurzban, and W.T. Matzner, “Oxytocin is Associated with Human Trustworthiness,” Hormones and Behavior 48( 2005 ): 522-527. 

V. B. Morhenn, J. W. Park, E. Piper, and P.J. Zak, “Monetary Sacrifice Among Strangers is Mediated by Endogenous Oxytocin Release after Physical Contact. Evolution and Human Behavior 29(2008): 375–383.

C.S. Carter, and E.B. Keverne, “The Neurobiology of Social Affiliation and Pair Bonding,” in Hormones, Brain and Behavior, ed. Donald Pfaff, (San Diego: Academic Press, 2002): 299–337.

C. T. Wotjak, J. Ganster, G. Kohl, F. Holsboer, R. Landgraf, and M.Engelmann, “Dissociated Central and Peripheral Release of Vasopressin, but not Oxytocin, in Response to Repeated Swim Stress: New Insights into the Secretory Capacities of Peptidergic Neurons,” Neuroscience 85 (1998): 1209–1222 doi: 10.1016/S0306-4522(97)00683-0.

I. D. Neumann, “Brain Oxytocin: A Key Regulator of Emotional and Social Behaviours in Both Females and Males,” Journal of Neuroendocrinology 20(2008): 858–865 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01726.x.

P.J. Zak, “The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity,” (New York: Dutton, 2012).

Zak, P. J., Stanton, A. A. & Ahmadi, S. 2007. Oxytocin increases generosity in humans. Public Library of Science ONE, 2(11).

M. Kosfeld, M. Heinrichs, P. J. Zak, U.Fischbacher, and E. Fehr, “ Oxytocin Increases Trust in Humans,” Nature 435:2( 2005 ): 673-676.

P.J. Zak, and J.A. Barraza, “The Neurobiology of Collective Action,” Frontiers in Neuroscience.                                                                  7(2013): 211 doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00211 .

J. A. Barraza, and P. J.  Zak, “Empathy Toward Strangers Triggers Oxytocin Release and Subsequent Generosity.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1167(2009): 182-189.

P-Y. Lin, N.S. Grewal, C. Morin, W.D. Johnson, and P.J. Zak, “ Oxytocin Increases the Influence of Public Service Advertisements,” PLoS ONE 8:2(2013) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056934 .

J.A. Barraza, V. Alexander, L.E. Beavin, E.T. Terris, E.T., and P.J. Zak, “The Heart of the Story: Peripheral Physiology During Narrative Exposure Predicts Charitable Giving,” Biological Psychology (2015): in press.

R.J. Gerrig, “ Experiencing Narrative Worlds: On the Psychological Activities of Reading,” (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).

D.Kahneman, and R.H. Thaler, “Anomalies: Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility,” Journal of Economic Perspectives20:1(2006):221–234.

B.K. Bracken, V. Alexander, P.J. Zak, V. Romero, and J.A. Barraza, “Physiological Synchronization is Associated with Narrative Emotionality and Subsequent Behavioral Response,” in Foundations of Augmented Cognition. Advancing Human Performance and Decision-Making through Adaptive Systems: 8th International Conference, , eds., D.D. Schmorrow and C.M. Fidopiastis (Berlin: Springer, 2014) 3–13. 

S. Gimbel, J. Kaplan, M. Immordino-Yang, Tipper, C. A. Gordon, M. Dehghani, S. Sagae, H. Damasio, A. Damasio, “Neural Response to Narratives Framed with Sacred Values,”  Abstract, Annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, (San Diego, 2013).