Regular consumers of cannabis are more likely to engage in effort-related decision making tasks than are non-users, according to data published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology

A team of researchers at the University of Memphis assessed motivation in a cohort of 47 college-aged students (25 frequent cannabis consumers and 22 controls). Subjects completed a series of behavioral tests (the Effort-Expenditure for Rewards Task) that provided participants with choices between tasks of differing degrees of difficulty and rewards.

Investigators reported that those subjects who most frequently consumed cannabis were also the most likely to select tasks that required the greatest amounts of effort. 

“The results provide preliminary evidence suggesting that college students who use cannabis are more likely to expend effort to obtain reward, even after controlling for the magnitude of the reward and the probability of reward receipt. Thus, these results do not support the ‘amotivational syndrome’ hypothesis.”

The team’s findings are consistent with those of other recent studies refuting longstanding claims that those with a history of marijuana use lack motivation. 

Full text of the study, “Effort-related decision-making and cannabis use among college students,” appears in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology


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