Dopamine provides shopper's high

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eager shopper

Parallels to sex?

ATLANTA, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The pleasure of shopping is chemical -- and fleeting -- it's all about the means and not the ends, say U.S. scientists.

The surge of excitement from shopping involves dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure. As shoppers first see a product and then consider buying it -- the anticipation rather than the buying itself -- discharges the chemical and drives the process, reported the Sunday Telegraph.

However, this surge of pleasure drops sharply as soon as the product has been bought, which can result in a sense of let-down -- or "buyer's remorse" -- shortly afterwards.

"Dopamine is all about the hunt and the anticipation," said Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta. "It is released as you conjure up in your mind the thought of this purchase and anticipate how it will look and how you will use it."

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