Paper on Feigning Symptoms for Prescription Stimulants

Updated: Jan 10

In our most recent publication, my colleagues and I explore the willingness of study participants to feign symptoms of illness to obtain prescription drugs. Using vignettes, we experimentally manipulated three factors: the social disapproval of prescription stimulant use for enhancement purposes, the physicians' diagnostic efforts, and the medical condition (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy). Our results showed that social disapproval of prescription drug use, a personal morality that disapproves of drug use, high self-control, and high self-efficacy were negatively associated with the willingness to use. Willingness increased especially in situations of social approval when there was a stronger personal approval of drug use, or surprisingly when physicians’ diagnostic efforts were higher. [Link to the paper]