Environmental Variables Influencing Drug Self-Administration

  • Travis Thompson
  • George Bigelow
  • Roy Pickens


Behavioral effects of drugs depend not only on their direct pharmacologic actions, but on the contingencies maintaining behavior as well (Sidman, 1956). This notion of drug-environment interaction applies equally to the analysis of factors influencing drug self-administration (Thompson and Schuster, 1968). Whether a drug will be self-administered depends not only on the type of drug, but also on the environmental conditions under which the drug is made available. Among the classes of environmental variables determining whether a drug will be self-administered are (a) past history of the subjects, (b) motivational factors, (c) current environmental conditions, and (d) reinforcement variables (Schuster and Thompson, 1969).


Reinforcement Variable Cumulative Record Feedback Stimulus Current Environmental Condition Cooperative Response 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travis Thompson
    • 1
  • George Bigelow
    • 1
  • Roy Pickens
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and PharmacologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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