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Healthy people more willing to take drugs to enhance traits


Washington : People’s willingness to take a pill or drug depends on whether the trait the drug promises to boost is they one they consider desirable.

Authors Jason Riis (Harvard Business School), Joseph P. Simmons (Yale University) and Geoffrey P. Goodwin (Princeton University) examined the reasons why healthy people take drugs to improve concentration or anti-depressants to lift their moods.

People don’t prefer using pills to enhance a trait they believe to be fundamental to their identity or nature. But other traits like concentration are more acceptable targets.

During a series of studies, the researchers found that the most common reason participants said why they wouldn’t want to take a pill was because it would “fundamentally change who I am”.

Not surprisingly, the marketing message did affect participants’ responses. When 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”.

“Together, this research converges to highlight the importance of identity expression and preservation in governing the choices and lives of consumers,” wrote the authors.

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.