Healthy people are more willing to take drugs to enhance traits that are not fundamental to their identity.
Many young people without diagnosed disorders or deficits take Ritalin or Adderall to improve concentration or anti-depressants to lift their moods.
The research team comprising of Jason Riis from NYU, Harvard Business School, Joseph P. Simmons from Yale University, and Geoffrey P. Goodwin from Princeton University focussed their study on what makes healthy people willing to take pills
They found that people preferred to use pills that would enhance their less-fundamental traits.
During a series of studies, the researchers found that young people were less likely to agree to take a drug to increase their social comfort than one that increased their ability to concentrate.
The most common reason participants said they wouldn''t want to take a pill was because it would "fundamentally change who I am."
"We suggest that people''s willingness to take psychological enhancements will largely depend on beliefs about whether those enhancements will alter characteristics considered fundamental to self-identity," the authors write.
The new study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.