How Does Having Too Much Power Affect Your Brain?

No one person in the world should have too much power. Power is quantified in our societies in different ways; political power, systemic power, financial power. And all of it is tied to a hierarchical escalator that we rise up through decisions and actions. But once we have power, how does it affect our brain and behavior? 

Power is, “possession of control, authority, or influence over others.” Having power over others, or controlling resources that they want, need or fear – has profound effects on the mind and brain, as does being in a less powerful position. Power already increases testosterone levels but that in turn activates dopamine activity. An EEG study from 2012 saw increased dopaminergic activity in the left prefrontal cortex in individuals primed to think about a situation where they had power over another person, so if power is linked to reward, it might be hard to give up.