Air Force research in Ohio studies trustworthiness

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DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- The Air Force is trying to determine whether blood samples can be used to measure trust in a million-dollar research project at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in western Ohio.

Research psychologist James Christensen tells the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/xZ0sMp ) the effort isn't aimed at building a "trust-o-meter." But he says finding a way to objectively measure trustworthiness could help in assigning workers to sensitive jobs or missions.

Study participants go through set scenarios with a trusted partner and then with a stranger and are tested on keeping a secret. The researchers monitor the participants' heart and brain activity and blood levels of the hormone oxytocin, which has been associated with trustworthiness.

Some scientists are skeptical about whether that's a reliable indicator because it can be affected by other factors.

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com