The effects of stereotype threat on
cognitive function in ecstasy users

Cole JC, Michailidou K, Jerome L, Sumnall HR.
Psychology Department,
Liverpool University, Liverpool, UK.
J Psychopharmacol. 2005 Sep 20


Stereotype threat occurs when individuals, believed to be intellectually inferior, perform badly on cognitive tests they perceive to confirm stereotypes about them. Due to the wide media coverage of studies purporting to show cognitive deficits in ecstasy users it is possible that they experience stereotype threat. This study tested ecstasy and non-ecstasy using polysubstance misusers on a variety of cognitive tests after they had been exposed to stereotype threat. This priming consisted of exposing them to information about the long-term effects of ecstasy which either stated that ecstasy caused memory loss or that it did not. Ecstasy users that had been primed that ecstasy did not cause cognitive deficits performed better than the other three groups on the delayed portion of the prose recall task from the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test battery. There were no other statistically significant differences between any of the groups on any of the other cognitive tests used. This suggests that stereotype threat exists in ecstasy users and may be influencing their performance in experiments designed to identify cognitive deficits. In order to prevent this occurring in future studies, experimenters must be careful how they conduct their experiments and discuss their results with the media.

Club drugs
Liver failure
Brain damage?
Kidney damage
Deaths in New York
Spatial memory deficits?
Long-term brain damage?
Toxic metabolites of MDMA?
MDMA and sympathetic activity
Electrophysiological evidence of 5-HT damage
5-HT, 5-HIAA, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family