Drugs as research tools in psychology: experiments with drugs in personality research

Neuropsychobiology. 1983;10(1):29-43. doi: 10.1159/000117981.


It is suggested that psychotropic drugs act to shift a person's behaviour on the three major dimensions of personality in one direction or another, in predictable ways, and that it is possible to create a taxonomy of psychotropic drugs according to these effects. The history of this concept is traced and many examples given to illustrate how drug action and personality theory interact, and how this interaction can be used to gain greater insight into both personality and drug action.

MeSH terms

  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects
  • Diagnostic Uses of Chemicals
  • Differential Threshold
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Neurotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Personality / drug effects*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Psychology / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Tranquilizing Agents / therapeutic use


  • Diagnostic Uses of Chemicals
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Tranquilizing Agents