The Lazy Stoner Myth Debunked

 

Summary: A new study challenges the stereotype that chronic cannabis users are lazy and unmotivated. The research surveyed 260 frequent users and found no significant drop in their motivation or effort levels while high compared to when sober.


The study also observed enhanced positive emotions and a slight dip in self-regulation among users when high. This nuanced approach aims to provide a more balanced view of the effects of regular cannabis use on daily life.


Three Key Facts:

No Impact on Motivation: Chronic cannabis users showed the same willingness to exert effort on tasks while high as when they were not.


Emotional and Self-Regulation Effects: While cannabis use boosted positive emotions like awe and gratitude, it also led to decreased self-regulation, making users more impulsive and less orderly.


No Weed Hangover: The research found no evidence of a decline in emotional or motivational function the day after cannabis use, debunking the idea of a “weed hangover.”


Source: University of Toronto


Stoners are not as lazy and unmotivated as stereotypes suggest, according to new U of T Scarborough research.


The study, published by the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, surveyed chronic cannabis users to see what effect getting high has on their everyday lives. 


“There is a stereotype that chronic cannabis users are somehow lazy or unproductive,” says Michael Inzlicht, a professor in the Department of Psychology at U of T Scarborough who led the study. 


“We found that’s not the case — their behaviors might change a bit in the moment while they’re high, but our evidence shows they are not lazy or lacking motivation at all.” 


The researchers surveyed 260 chronic users (those who consume cannabis at least three times a week or more), who received regular messages through an app asking if they were high. The participants were then asked about their emotional state, levels of motivation, willingness to invest effort, and self-regulation. 


Inzlicht says the most interesting finding relates to motivation. 


The researchers studied the participants’ willingness to exert effort in completing a task while high. They found participants were willing and motivated to exert the same amount of effort while high compared to when they were not.   


The researchers studied the participants’ willingness to exert effort in completing a task while high. They found participants were willing and motivated to exert the same amount of effort while high compared to when they were not.   


He says this study instead looked at chronic cannabis use while participants were actively high, while also accounting for these pre-existing differences.


The researchers found that getting high did lead to lower levels of self-regulation, which is an important trait for being able to accomplish tasks. They found that when chronic users are high it does impact certain behaviors linked to self-regulation, such as being more impulsive, less thoughtful, and less orderly. 


“These things can detract someone from getting stuff done, but we didn’t find it made them less hard-working, responsible, or able to focus,” says Inzlicht. 


They also found that chronic cannabis users experience a boost in positive emotions such as awe and gratitude, and a reduction in some negative emotions such as fear and anxiety while high. However, the researchers found those who get high a lot, on the higher end of chronic use, experience more negative emotions while high and while sober. 


The researchers found no evidence of “weed hangover,” that is, chronic users didn’t experience a decline in function (emotion or motivation) the day after being high.


Read More: Neuroscience News 

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