Psychological processes underlying risky decisions in drug abusers

Julie C. Stout, Stephanie L. Rock, Meghan C. Campbell, Jerome R. Busemeyer, Peter R. Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Decision-making deficits are considered to be a significant contributing factor for drug abuse. Drug abusers performed poorly on a simulated gambling task (A. Bechara, H. Damasio, D. Tranel, & S. Anderson, 1994); however, the psychological processes that contribute to these deficits are unknown. The authors used cognitive decision models with a simulated gambling task (SGT) to examine underlying processes of decision making in 66 drug abusers and 58 control participants. As expected, male drug abusers performed more poorly than male controls, and model results showed that male drug abusers placed greater emphasis on wins. The findings for women were less clear because control women performed at chance level on the SGT. Additional studies of gender differences on the SGT are needed to clarify these findings of discrepant performance in the control women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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