Adderall and Creativity


| 3 Comments

All of us probably know that Adderall helps to improve concentration and focus for those with ADD. (If you don't believe me look here (http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-63163-Adderall+Oral.aspx?drugid=63163&drugname=Adderall+Oral). Also, there is this general belief that Adderall makes you a better student. I wanted to initially explore what about Adderall makes you a better student. But, I quickly discovered just by skimming the Web MD link above that it is just the active ingredient, amphetamine salts, among other stimulants that is giving a person abusing Adderall for study purposes the drive to fight off the need for breaks and sleep. I was just about to move on to a different topic when I stumbled on this study (http://www.psych.upenn.edu/~mfarah/pdfs/Creativity-Psychopharm.pdf) which was done to see if Adderall hurt the users ability to be creative.  Initially I though that this made a lot of sense because of the fact that Adderall improves your focus so your mind only concentrates on your initial thought process and doesn't explore others. What I found surprised me.

 

In a double-blind study 16 people participated in different creativity tests. It turns out that those who had a high creativity baseline generally did not increase creativity through Adderall usage. However, those with a low creativity baseline did see improvement through the use of Adderall.

 

The one problem that I have with this study is that they used only 16 people. This means that in a double-blind study where placebos were used only 8 people had their creativity tested while under the influence of Adderall. This makes it too easy to sway the results with just a few outliers. However, a similar study (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089085670963598X) came to similar conclusions, so I guess I am going to have to believe it.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-63163-Adderall+Oral.aspx?drugid=63163&drugname=Adderall+Oral

http://www.psych.upenn.edu/~mfarah/pdfs/Creativity-Psychopharm.pdf

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089085670963598X 

3 Comments

I could totally seeing adderall helping for creativity! I feel like everyone talks about talking adderall for finals or cramming for a big test, but I have never thought about the fact that it could actually make a person more creative! What an awesome post. Here's an article with more information on adderall!

http://www.drugs.com/adderall.html

I am not prescribed to Adderall but some of my friends are and they told me about how they can focus better and learn stuff better. I don't really take any pills or medicine...ever, so it is something that I am curious about and reading your post really gave me a better perspective on it. Thanks!

I don't take adderall, but i do take something similar called vyvanse, which is for ADHD instead of ADD. Vyvanse does pretty much the same thing as adderall by helping me focus. It does help me with doing homework and studying for tests because i dont get as distracted, and people always ask me if they could get some from me. However, from my experience it does help me write creative papers for English class because when i get started it makes it easy for me to keep going from there.

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