i'm trying to translate an english article in french. This article explains some scientific experiments. I have the following sentence:

At the top of our human reward list are food, sex, love, friendship, and novelty. These are called ‘natural reinforcers,’ as contrasted with addictive chemicals.

I understand the second sentence as "These are a natural help, unlike addictive chemical products".

Am i right? I'm not sure how to translate "reinforcers". And, in this case, does "chemicals" refer to articial addictive products (drugs, ...) or does it refer even to chemical substances in the brain, like dopamine?

1 Answer 1


For reinforcers, another word with roughly the same meaning, and much easier to translate in French, is stimulant.

an agent (as a drug) that produces a temporary increase of the functional activity or efficiency of an organism or any of its parts

From these sentences, chemicals is most likely to refer to alcohol, nicotine and drugs, and not body chemicals like dopamine (which are also produced as a result of the 'natural reinforcers').

  • Je ne sais pas.
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:46

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