01:830:364 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Corticosterone, Phenotype, Impulsivity
Abused drugs induce lack of ambition/motivation, impulsivity and risk-taking. Associating with drug abusers increases contact with non-conformists and socially alienated individuals. It is well known that drug abusers score higher than controls on scales designed to measure impulsive responding. Children are given a choice between an immediate single marshmallow or delayed access to five marshmallows. Impulsivity is revealed by intolerance to the delay of reward. the value of the larger reward is discounted by having to wait. They tend to choose the immediate small reward, earning fewer rewards during the session. They tend to choose the delayed large reward, earning more rewards per session. They tend to avoid looking directly at the marshmallow reward by covering their eyes or averting their eyes to the side. Years later, children rated as highly impulsive on the delay discounting test were more likely to subsequently abuse alcohol and drugs. Years later, low impulsivity was associated with greater achievement in their careers.