Surveying the Use of Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancers in the Australian Financial Services Industry
24 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2020
Date Written: 2020
The non-medical use of pharmaceuticals such as methylphenidate and modafinil for cognitive enhancement has been explored in college students, medical students and various professions in the US and Europe. We present results of an anonymous online survey of such use among members of the Australian financial services industry. Our hypothesis was that industry sectors would report different preferences for different drugs, reflecting different workplace task demands. The survey was advertised to industry groups, online media articles, and social media outlets between September 2016 and October 2017. Industry sector, hours worked per week, and other demographic and personal health factors were also surveyed. 372 responses were received, of which 140 were valid and complete, and 69 were variously incomplete but usable. Different sectors of the financial services industry reported significantly different rates of use among colleagues. Respondents from different industry sectors also nominated different substances as most prevalent with significantly different frequencies. There was a significant difference in reported hours slept per night between those who reported workplace use and those who did not. A number of side effects were also reported, including headaches and mood swings. This is an important first step in exploring the use of attempts at pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement in competitive professional workplaces with diverse task demands.
Keywords: Nootropics, Workplace, Cognitive Enhancers, Survey, Finance
JEL Classification: C83, D87, G02, I12, J81
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