Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1981, Vol. 90, No. 6, 546-553

Copyright 1981 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0021-843X/81/9006-0546$00.75

A Replicated Study of Self-Reported Changes in Psychological Absorption With Marijuana Intoxication
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma In a cross-validated study, when marijuana users were asked to reference marijuana experiences exclusively, absorption scores (reflecting trait capacity for total attentional involvement) increased over a standard administration. The increase could not be accounted for by a culturally stereotyped response pattern, the demand characteristics of the testing situation, or effects of repeated administrations of the scale. Thus, it appears that marijuana use is associated with increased absorption experiences. Results also suggest that the overall increase for users was not merely a group effect but accurately reflects the type of change occurring for most users. Absorption scores decreased when marijuana users were asked to exclude all drug-related experiences. An item analysis revealed a subset of absorption-scale items that seem to characterize marijuana intoxication exclusively. Other results imply that the standard administration of the absorption scale carries with it ambiguities for drug users regarding whether to include drug experiences; most users apparently exclude some or all drug experiences. This effect makes it difficult to demonstrate group differences using standard administration procedures.

William D. Fabian, Jr., and Steven M. Fishkin

Research in the area of human drug use has previously focused on differences between groups of users and nonusers in the hope of either characterizing a predisposition for drug use or establishing a fundamental classification system for types of drug users. Numerous personality characteristics have...