Article Summary of Marijuana effects on a modified Gambling Task Heather Frederick
Psychology 2017 LAB Section 6
September 17th, 2010
Previous studies on decision making abilities in people who are marijuana users on executive functioning has led researchers to believe that marijuana users have impaired decision making, but it is still not well understood. The experiment in this article aims at improving the current literature by observing direct effects of marijuana in double-blind controlled laboratory environment, while previous studies only had participants that had been abstinent from marijuana. The researchers’ hypothesis is that marijuana smokers will have a longer decision time, and would also do worse in card selection as the dosage of marijuana increases. There does not seem to be gaps in the logic of the hypothesis, since the previous research suggests this as well. Methods:
There were 36 volunteer healthy adults from the ages of 21-36 years old. The inclusionary criterion for the experiment was that the participants were daily smokers, and had smoked marijuana between 2.8-3.8 years. The inclusionary criteria was reasonable, however the article does not state any exclusionary criteria. The researchers did give participants a urine analysis which confirmed that THC was the only drug present in the participants’ urine. The study was done in a controlled laboratory setting. The study was double-blind with 3 concentrations of marijuana cigarettes of 0.0 (control), 1.8, and 3.9% THC levels. The participants were assigned according to the Latin square design. The participants were told not to take an drugs or alcohol, and to confirm this they were given a urine analysis and breathe samples to confirm this. At the beginning of the experiment a baseline for participants was measured as well as heart-rate for the Gambling Task. After baseline measures were complete, participants smoked a marijuana...