Are Students Using Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement More Successful?

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Sümbül Şekerci, Betül
Bektay, Muhammed Yunus
Bildik, Özlem
İzzettin, Fikret Vehbi
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Introduction: The use of psychostimulant drugs to increase academic success is common among young people, especially medical students. However, the effect of psychostimulants on academic success not clear in the current literature. Materials and Methods: A structured online survey was carried out with 431 undergraduate students in different faculties of Medicine in Turkey. Comparisons between groups, correlation and regression analysis about associated variables were made. The academic performance of the students was evaluated with grade point average (GPA) score. Also, academic success, academic anxiety, study performance, sleep quality and pharmacological knowledge levels were questioned with the scale based on self-evaluations. Results: 23 (5.4%) healthy students reported using psychostimulants to improve academic success. There was no significant difference in age, gender, semester, objective (GPA score) and subjective (self-report) assessment of success between users and non-users. But most of the users evaluated that the psychostimulants are useful. Smoking and increased knowledge level of pharmacology are risk factors for psychostimulant use. Conclusion: We could not find a relationship between academic success and pharmacological cognitive enhancement. Psychostimulant use had an positive effect on self-assessment of students. It can support the hypothesis that the psychostimulants has a motivational contribution rather than a purely pharmacological effect. The relationship of psychostimulants with alcohol and smoking should be examined in detail, and users should be questioned in terms of susceptibility to risky behaviors and addiction.
Sümbül Şekerci B., Bektay M. Y. , Bildik Ö., İzzettin F. V. , -Are Students Using Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement More Successful? -, 49th Meeting of the European Brain and Behaviour Society, Lausanne, İsviçre, 4 - 07 Eylül 2021, ss.259
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