Social Discounting in Current, Former, and Never Marijuana Users




Lopez, Victoria Elise

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Social discounting measures one's willingness to share as a function of social distance. Previous studies have indicated that drug users socially discount monetary rewards at a steeper rate than non-users. This study compared social discounting between current, former, and never marijuana users when discounting monetary and marijuana rewards. Social discounting tasks were also framed as gains and losses. A total of 138 participants were tasked with choosing between keeping a reward for themselves or sharing smaller or equal reward with the following specified social distances: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100. Contrary to hypothesis 1a, there was no difference in willingness to share monetary rewards between current users, former users, and matched controls. However, supporting hypothesis 1b, current marijuana users did discount marijuana rewards at a steeper rate than former and never marijuana users. Within the current marijuana user group, hypothesis 2 was not support indicating no difference in discounting rates between monetary and marijuana rewards. Due to uninterpretable data, hypothesis 3, which predicted steeper discounting rates for monetary and marijuana losses compared to gains, was not analyzed. Results indicate that marijuana use may not be associated with social discounting monetary rewards but is however associated with less willingness to share marijuana rewards.


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cannabis, commodity, discounting, marijuana, social discounting