Attitudes About Memory Dampening Drugs Depend on Context and Country

Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2010

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-24

8 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2010 Last revised: 2 Jun 2012

See all articles by Eryn Newman

Eryn Newman

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Shari R. Berkowitz

University of California, Irvine

Kally J. Nelson

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka; University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior

Maryanne Garry

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Psychology

Elizabeth F. Loftus

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychological Science; University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: October 18, 2010

Abstract

When people take drugs such as propranolol in response to trauma, it may dampen their bad memories - tempering recall of a traumatic event. We examined people’s attitudes toward these drugs. Americans and New Zealanders read about a hypothetical assault inserting themselves into a scenario as a victim attacked while serving on a peace keeping mission (soldier role) or while walking home from a job as a restaurant manager (civilian role). Then they told us whether they should receive a memory dampening drug, and whether they would want to take a memory dampening drug. Subjects were negatively disposed towards a memory dampening drug, but Americans who adopted the soldier role were more in favor of having access to the drug than those who adopted the civilian role. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to an increasing trend in ‘cosmetic neurology’, medicating with the goal of enhancement, rather than therapy.

Suggested Citation

Newman, Eryn and Berkowitz, Shari R. and Nelson, Kally J. and Nelson, Kally J. and Garry, Maryanne and Loftus, Elizabeth F., Attitudes About Memory Dampening Drugs Depend on Context and Country (October 18, 2010). Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2010, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694082

Eryn Newman

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Shari R. Berkowitz

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA California 62697-3125
United States

Kally J. Nelson

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior ( email )

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-7085
United States

Maryanne Garry

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Psychology ( email )

Room 508, Easterfield Building
Kelburn Pde, Kelbun Campus
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand
04 463 5769 (Phone)
04 463 5402 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/psyc/staff/maryanne-garry.aspx

Elizabeth F. Loftus (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychological Science ( email )

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-7085
United States

University of California, Irvine School of Law

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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