May 22nd, 2006

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For a while, I was doing quite a bit of research into impulsivity and how it was affected by drug use. There are quite a few theories about whether impulsive people simply have a predisposition to try drugs, or that drug use makes them impulsive. It's one of those old chicken or the egg senarios and it's something that drug researchers pick at every once and a while. One way to get at the question perhaps is to give drugs to non-drug users and see if they become more impulsive.

There are all sorts of tests in this area including prepulse inhibition, delay discounting, time estimation, etc. One of my ideas at the time was to have people try to complete a series of tests on what was supposedly a very slow internet connection and give them something like a black box with a button on it they could push to try to speed the process along or something. Actually, there were quite a few permutations but they all involved seeing if people were more likely to not tolerate long delays.

I ran across Don't Shoot the Puppy which seems to have unintentionally illustrated what something like the task might have looked like. I know that I can't stop myself from shooting the puppy after a bit, and actually begin to actively loathe the little thing. Maybe some of you can do better.

Oh, and 46 gigs worth of Babylon 5 takes _forever_ to download.