Could Dopamine Be the Most Evil Chemical in the World?

by Charles Lyell on October 4, 2011

If you‘d like to read an excellent article about dopamine click here.

The piece was written by David Bradley for According to his site,, “David Bradley is a chemist by training and now an award-winning science writer with more than 20 years experience.”

I’d like to publicly thank David for being a genuinely unique individual. Let me explain…

A few of the lessons I have learned while trying to raise dopamine awareness include:

  • Everything we do we do to protect and trigger dopamine flow.
  • Choices, beliefs, and behaviors that trigger dopamine flow are dopamine appealing.
  • Concepts that have high dopamine appeal (even if they’re blatantly false, frivolous, or dangerous) are embraced, cherished, and believed.
  • Choices, beliefs, and behaviors that threaten dopamine flow are dopamine repellent.
  • Dopamine repellent ideas (even if blatantly obvious, significant, and helpful) are instinctively dismissed, mocked, or attacked (in much the same way dopamine repellent bugs are swatted).
  • Dopamine repellent ideas that can’t be disproved, dismissed, mocked, or successfully attacked (including the concepts contained on this site) are ignored.
  • Learning how dopamine manipulates behavior, usurps free will, and is responsible for addictive behaviors are extremely dopamine repellent.
  • High dopamine appeal is why tens of millions tune in to find out who gets kicked off shows such as Survivor, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars.
  • High dopamine repel is why almost everyone tunes out when it comes to discussing how dopamine-induced addictions (to safety/power/fear, approval/attention, esteem/status, money, and religion) are in the process of getting our species kicked off the planet.

Over the past few months I’ve contacted scores of researchers and science writers and asked them all the same basic question: “Do you know if any researchers are looking into the links between dopamine/addiction and all of Abraham Maslow’s d-needs? (Food, sex, safety, approval, esteem.)“

The responses were fairly consistent and ranged from “Wow!” to “That makes a lot of sense.” All ended with “No, I don’t know anyone looking into it.” And that’s where all the conversations (and interest) ended.

David Bradley was the only respondent who initiated a dialogue. After checking out, David let me know, in a polite way, that he was wondering if I might be just another annoying crank on a soapbox. To his credit, and despite reservations, he asked questions and replied to my answers. And after hearing me out he wrote one of the best written, most concise, and spot on articles about dopamine I’ve read to date.

While waiting for the article to be published I convinced myself that it didn’t matter how brilliant or insightful the article was because it would be ignored.

Why? Because the more cutting, insightful, and informative his article was, the more dopamine repellent it would be.

Then I saw the graphic that accompanied the article and thought… Maybe, just maybe, one, or even a few’s readers will perk up and smell the dopamine.

Will they?

I’ll keep you posted…


Addendum: It’s 4/23/13, more than a year-and-a-half later, and Mr. Bradley’s article has 7440 views with one comment.

Granted, in a world where articles about reality TV stars receive millions of hits, a few thousand views isn’t overly impressive. Still, they were researchers, scientists, and inquisitive types who were at least interested in learning about dopamine. Yet not one of them contacted me. Not one.

Thanks to David Bradley it finally dawned on me that the puzzle was there for the solving because nobody, including the experts, wants to know. Even after it’s explained to them.

Without realizing it, the “experts” (who I expected to either be blown away or provoked into trying to prove me wrong) essentially verified how widespread and powerful dopamine-induced addictions to safety, peer approval, and esteem are.

Now that you’re privy to one of this century’s most significant breakthroughs, what are you going to do? If you’re an extremely unique and rare individual you’ll risk the reduction in dopamine flow associated with the threat of a loss of safety, peer approval, and esteem and learn more.

If you’re like most visitors to this site you’ll let dopamine convince you to ignore, dismiss, and/or forget what you read and move on to something a little, or a lot, more dopamine appealing.

Or perhaps you’ll decide to wait until someone you admire and respect acknowledges the validity of what I’ve been saying for years.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.



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