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Drugs' rapid payoffs distort evaluation of their instrumental uses 1

  • George Ainslie (a1)

Abstract

Science has needed a dispassionate valuation of psychoactive drugs, but a motivational analysis should be conducted with respect to long-term reward rather than reproductive fitness. Because of hyperbolic overvaluation of short-term rewards, an individual's valuation depends on the time she forms it and the times she will revisit it, sometimes making her best long-term interest lie in total abstinence.

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1.

This commentary is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Coatesville, PA. It is considered a work of the U.S. government and as such is not subject to copyright within the United States.

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References

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Ainslie, G. (2001) Breakdown of will. Cambridge University Press.
Ainslie, G. (2010) Hyperbolic discounting versus conditioning and framing as the core process in addictions and other impulses. In: What is addiction? ed. Ross, D., Kincaid, H., Spurrett, D. & Collins, P., pp. 211–45. MIT.
Austin, G. A. (1978) Perspectives on the history of psychoactive substance abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Gibbon, J. (1977) Scalar expectancy theory and Weber's law in animal timing. Psychological Review 84:279325.
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Heyman, G. M. (2009) Addiction: A disorder of choice. Harvard University Press.
Hofmeyr, A., Ainslie, G., Charlton, R. & Ross, D. (2010) The relationship between addiction and reward: An experiment comparing smokers and non-smokers. Addiction 106:402–09.
Roizen, R. (1987) The great controlled-drinking controversy. In: Recent developments in alcoholism, vol. 5, ed. Galanter, M., pp. 245–87. Plenum.

Drugs' rapid payoffs distort evaluation of their instrumental uses 1

  • George Ainslie (a1)

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