Behavioral pharmacology and verbal behavior: Diazepam effects on verbal self-reports
- 2 Downloads
Diazepam (10 mg) was administered to two men performing a delayed matching-to-sample task in which the number of elements in a compound sample stimulus (one of which appeared among 4 comparison stimuli) was manipulated from 1 to 3. After each trial, subjects pressed either a “Yes” or “No” button in response to a computer-presented query about whether the last choice met a point contingency requiring selection of the matching comparison stimulus within a time limit. Diazepam simultaneously produced marginal decreases in matching-to-sample performance and more pronounced decreases in the accuracy of self-reports about the same performance. Diazepam selectively increased false reports of success; false reports of failure were not systematically affected. A signal-detection analysis summarized these patterns as a decrease in self-report discriminability (A′) with no systematic change in bias (B′H). These preliminary results converge with those of clinical lore and the results of studies with other benzodiazepine drugs in suggesting that diazepam can produce an “overconfidence” in performance self-evaluation, the mechanisms and parameters of which remain to be identified. The results were inconsistent with those of one previous study of diazepam’s effects on performance self-evaluation, but given procedural differences between the two studies, the discrepancy may reflect the functional independence of verbal operant classes in Skinner’s (1957) taxonomy.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baldessarini, R. J. (1990). Drugs and the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In A. G. Gilman, T. W. Rall, A. S. Nies, & P. Taylor (Eds.), The pharmacological basis of therapeutics (8th ed.) (pp. 383–435). New York: Pergammon.Google Scholar
- Critchfield, T. S., & Schlund, M. (1992, May). Do drugs really impair judgment? Drug effects on performace self-evaluation. Paper presented at the 18th Association for Behavior Analysis Convention, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
- Curren, H. V. (1986). Tranquillising memories: A review of the effects of benzodiazepines on human memory. Biopsychology, 23, 179–213.Google Scholar
- Dougherty, D. M., Nedelmann, M., & Alfred, M. (1993). An analysis and topical bibliography of the last ten years of human operant behavior: From minority to near majority (1982–1992). Psychological Record, 43, 501–530.Google Scholar
- Green, D. M., & Swets, J. A. (1966). Signal detection theory and psychophysics. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Hindmarch, I., & Ott, H. (Eds.) (1988). Benzodiazepine receptor ligands, memory, and information processing. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Rabbitt, P. M. A. (1979). Current paradigms and models in human information processing. In V. H. Hamilton, & D. M. Warburton (Eds.), Human stress and cognition: An information processing approach (pp. 115–140). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. (1989). The listener. In B. F. Skinner, Recent issues in the analysis of behavior (pp. 35–47). Columbus, OH: Merrill.Google Scholar
- Taylor, J. L., & Tinklenberg, J. R. (1987). Cognitive impairment and benzodiazepines. In H. Y. Meltzer (Ed.), Psychopharmacology: The third generation of progress (pp. 1449–1454). New York: Raven.Google Scholar
- Zettle, R. D., & Hayes, S. C. (1982). Rule-governed behavior: A potential theoretical framework for cognitive-behavior therapy. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.), Advances in cognitive-behavioral research and therapy (pp. 73–118). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar