Cognitive enhancers are considered largely acceptable at the workplace

The general public largely views the use of cognitive enhancers such as Adderall as an acceptable practice when used by adults in the workplace, suggests a new study from Penn Medicine neurologists, which published in AJOB Neuroscience. The researchers, however, found that acceptability of that use depends on several factors, including framing and who is taking them. 

Glass bowl of multi-colored gel caps

Researchers found that people are more likely to accept the practice when it’s positively framed—such as referring to cognitive enhancement as “fuel” versus “steroids”—and when the users are neither students nor athletes.

“We have become a culture constantly focused on progress and achievement, which has caused many to turn to cognitive enhancers to keep up and get ahead,” says senior author Anjan Chatterjee, a professor of neurology, and director of the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics. “While some see this as a way to maximize potential, others view it as a misuse, akin to cheating. Our study sheds light on the attitudes of the public which may help us better understand, discuss, and address the misuse of these medications among adolescents and adults.”

Read more at Penn Medicine News.