Syllogistic reasoning reasoning in MDMA (Ecstasy) users

C. Montgomery, J. Fisk, R. Newcombe, M. Wareing, P. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Objectives/Design: There is clear evidence that MDMA (Ecstasy) users score lower on measures of working memory and central executive functioning. In turn aspects of working memory functioning have been implicated in syllogistic reasoning performance. For example, concurrent random generation impairs syllogistic reasoning performance. Furthermore, MDMA users have been found to be impaired in measures of random letter generation. The purpose of the present paper is to establish whether MDMA users are impaired in syllogistic reasoning. 20 users and 26 non-users were tested on syllogistic reasoning problems varying in terms of their level of difficulty (i.e. the number of mental models needed to solve the problem). User group (user versus non-user) was between participants and level of difficulty (one, two, and three model problems) within participants. Methods: Participants were presented with syllogistic reasoning problems in abstract form, e.g. Some A are B, All B are C, from which it follows that Some A are C; and asked to generate valid conclusions. Four problems were presented at each level of difficulty. Results: Users generated fewer valid conclusions at all levels of difficulty but neither the main effect of group nor the group by difficulty interaction were statistically significantly. Conclusions: The results suggest that higher level cognitive functions may be less susceptible to the effects of MDMA although the fact that the MDMA group did consistently less well overall indicates that these tentative findings should be treated with a degree of caution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference - Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Mar 200315 Mar 2003


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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