Healthy people are more willing to take drugs to enhance traits that are not fundamental to their identity.
[Think about it. That’s a pretty scary sentence.]
According to a new study, people’s willingness to take a pill or drug depends on whether the trait the drug promises to enhance is one they consider fundamental.
Authors Jason Riis, Joseph P. Simmons and Geoffrey P. Goodwin examine the moral dilemmas that arise as technologies develop that not only cure disease but also enhance already-healthy people. As many young people without diagnosed disorders or deficits take Ritalin or Adderall to improve concentration or anti-depressants to lift their moods, this study examines what makes healthy people willing to take pills.
The researchers determined that people do not feel comfortable using a pill to enhance a trait they believe to be fundamental to their identity. But less-fundamental traits, including concentration, are more acceptable targets…
Not surprisingly, the marketing message affected participants’ responses. When the researchers tested different advertising taglines, they found that participants responded more positively to a drug promising to help them become “more than who you are,” than one that would allow them to become “who you are.”
Mother’s Little Helper still rules – just more people, eh?