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ERIC Number: EJ1286163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
Working Smart: The Use of 'Cognitive Enhancers' by UK University Students
McDermott, Hilary; Lane, Harry; Alonso, Manuel
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v45 n2 p270-283 2021
Cognitive enhancers include a wide range of substances including prescription medication for attentional deficient disorders and pharmacological substances for cognitive augmentation. Students have recently been identified as the largest cohort of users. Most research on student use of cognitive enhancers has been undertaken in the United States. This study utilised a mixed methods sequential explanatory approach to investigate cognitive enhancer use among UK university students specifically to aid study. A bespoke online survey was distributed throughout the UK. The findings informed the development of a qualitative interview study comprising 15 participants. In total, 506 responses to the online survey were received from 54 UK institutions. Forty-six per cent of respondents reported using recreational drugs and 19% reported having used cognitive enhancers. Males were two and a half times more likely to use cognitive enhancers than females. Participants reported various motives for using cognitive enhancers, the most frequent being to meet the demands of coursework, to improve focus or maintain wakefulness. The qualitative findings revealed that cognitive enhancers are widely accessible and are used to enhance performance in terms of motivation, concentration and meeting academic deadlines. The findings of this study will be of interest to a wide range of services within Universities across the UK.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom