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Thread: Amotivational Syndrome

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    Cannabis Warrior - News Moderator Jim Finnel's Avatar
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    Amotivational Syndrome

    Marijuana is said to have a deleterious effect on society by making users passive, apathetic, unproductive, and unable or unwilling to fulfill their responsibilities.

    THE FACTS

    The concept of an amotivational syndrome first appeared in the late 1960s, 68 as marijuana use was increasing among American youth. In the years since, despite the absence of an agreed-upon definition of the concept, numerous researchers have attempted to verify its occurrence.
    Large-scale studies of high school students have generally found no difference in grade-point averages between marijuana users and non-users. 69 One study found lower grades among students reported to be daily users of marijuana, but the authors failed to identify a causal relationship and concluded that both phenomena were part of a complex of inter-related social and emotional problems. 70

    In one longitudinal study of college students, after controlling for other factors, marijuana users were found to have higher grades than non-users 7l and to be equally as likely to successfully complete their educations. 72 Another study found that marijuana users in college scored higher than non-users on standardized "achievement values" scales. 73
    Field studies conducted in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece also found no evidence of an amotivational syndrome marijuana-using populations.
    In these samples of working-class males, the educational and employment records of marijuana users were, for the most part, similar to those of non-users. In fact, in Jamaica, marijuana was often smoked during working hours as an aid to productivity.
    The results of laboratory studies have been nearly as consistent.
    In one study lasting 94 days, marijuana had no significant impact on learning, performance or motivation. 74

    In another 31-day study, subjects given marijuana worked more hours than controls and turned in an equal number of tokens for cash at the study's completion. 75

    However, in a Canadian study that required subjects in the marijuana group to consume unusually high doses, some reduction in work efficiency was noted in the days following intoxication. 76
    Undoubtedly, when marijuana is used in a way that produces near-constant intoxication, other activities are 1ikely to be neglected.

    However, the weight of scientific evidence suggests that there is nothing in the pharmacological properties of cannabis that alter people's attitudes, values, or abilities regarding work.

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    Cannabis Warrior - News Moderator Jim Finnel's Avatar
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    Re: Amotivational Syndrome

    DEBUNKING "AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME"

    "There is no such thing as laziness. Laziness is only lack of incentive."

    Norman Reider, MD


    A graduate student in the psychology department at the University of Southern California, Sara Smucker Barnwell, has conducted a survey to assess whether or not cannabis use undermines motivation. She emailed a questionnaire to 200 undergraduates who had taken a course on drugs and human behavior, and to 100 acquaintances of a co-author, Mitch Earleywine, PhD, who in turn were asked to forward it to others. She got responses from some 1,300 people. She then analyzed the responses of everyday users ( 244 ) and those who had never used ( 243 ).

    Barnwell's questionnaire comprised an "Apathy Evaluation Scale" and a "Satisfaction with Life Scale." Apathy was measured by 12 statements such as "I don't follow through on my plans" to which respondents gave their level of agreement ( "Not At All, Slightly, Somewhat, Very Much" ). Satisfaction was measured by agreement with five statements, including "If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing." The mean age of the participants was 33. They were mostly Caucasian ( 79% ), with a preponderance of them students. One in three frequent cannabis users described their use as medical.

    Much of Barnwell et al's paper consists of statistical methodology involving "T-distribution," "heteroscedasticity," "controlling for unequal variances," "outliers ( e.g. data points above/below three standard deviations )," "standard transformations ( e.g. square roots )," "trimmed means," "alternative measures of effect size ( the estimated measure of the degree of separations between two distributions )," "Cohen's delta calculations," "Pearson's correlations," "Welch's heteroscedastic means comparison," "Yuen's comparison of 20% trimmed means," etc. etc ...

    The jargon is almost impenetrable, but it appears that statisticians allow themselves to discount "outlier" responses that don't jibe with the "central tendency" of the data. Barnwell et al's "robust statistical analysis" certainly makes their somewhat fuzzy survey seem supremely precise and worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

    But why quibble when they're "good on our issue?" Barnwell et al conclude: "Participants who used cannabis seven days a week demonstrated no difference from non-cannabis users on indices of motivation. These findings refute hypothesized associations between heavy cannabis use and low motivation ... Daily users reported slightly lower median subjective well-being scores ( 2 points less on a 28-point scale ) ... Post-hoc tests find that some portion of the differences in subjective wellbeing arose from medical users, whose illnesses may contribute to low subjective wellbeing more than their cannabis use."

    The authors acknowledge that their results may have been skewed by not taking into account respondents' use of alcohol and other drugs. They list some other realistic caveats and counter-caveats: "Participant reactivity to questions of motivation may pose an additional confound. Despite a lack of empirical evidence supporting amotivational syndrome, the popular concept is well known among cannabis users. Perhaps cannabis users demonstrate sensitivity to questions regarding motivation, exaggerating their own motivation in an effort to defy stereotypes. In contrast, users tend to attribute low energy and motivation to cannabis even when they use alcohol problematically, so there may also be a bias for cannabis users to report lower motivation. Further, collecting data via the internet may prevent some low education or low income individuals from participating. Others may feel uncomfortable reporting drug use online. Simultaneously, individuals experiencing low motivation may be more likely to participate in internet-based research rather than traveling to a laboratory."

    Common sense tells us that the main motivator in this society is the prospect of remuneration. Millions of Americans, young and old, are destined to do unfulfilling work for wages that won't enable them to support a family let alone own a home and retire with a sense of security. To define our condition in terms of amotivational syndrome or apathy is to conflate symptom and cause, to individualize a social phenomenon, to medicalize the political. Anti-prohibitionists should turn the meaning of amotivational syndrome around and peg it for what it obviously is: a manifestation of socioeconomic hopelessness.

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    Re: Amotivational Syndrome

    Cannabis = incentive.

  4. #4
    New Member AmyLGeek's Avatar
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    Re: Amotivational Syndrome

    If I get my hands on some good sativa, I clean the entire house, wash the dogs, scrub my carpets, pluck my eyebrows, cook dinner and clean up after.

    Indica on the other hand...ZZzzzzzzzzzz
    trucecity liked this post