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updated 7/20/2011 12:48:35 PM ET 2011-07-20T16:48:35

Though some see it as a time-killer, Facebook actually makes us more engaged, and — perhaps dangerously — more trusting of others, according to a new study.

The Pew Internet study, "Social Networking Sites and Our Lives," found that besides having more close relationships and being more politically engaged than their non-Facebook friends, members of the vast social network are more trusting than others, and by a huge margin.

"A Facebook user who uses the site multiple times per day is 43 percent more likely than other Internet users and more than three times as likely as non-Internet users to feel that most people can be trusted," the study found.

The reason for this increased level of trust on social networks, according to Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont College, is as scientific as it is social.

Zak, who has studied how trust facilitates economic relations between nations, conducted a study for Adam Penenberg of the business site Fast Company.

In the informal study, Zak had Penenberg spend 10 minutes on Twitter while he measured Penenberg's levels of oxytocin, which is often referred to as the "love hormone" for its effect on human bonding and sexual activity.

Penenberg's oxytocin level rose as much as 13.2 percent while on Twitter.

Zak then conducted the same small-scale study on three journalists on Facebook, and found their levels of oxytocin also rose — one by nearly 150 percent.

So the next time you come across an enticing Facebook message, maybe one luring you to look at a naked picture, or another that has the exclusive dirt on a controversial celebrity, take a second, breathe, and ignore it.

And remember, it's not your fault: you don't want to believe everything you see on Facebook, it may just be that you can't help it.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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