Sorry Kids, Adderall Only Makes You Think You're Smarter
Study suggests so-called 'smart pills' have little effect
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2010 12:06 PM CST
Updated Dec 26, 2010 8:15 AM CST
So-called 'smart pills' may not actually make you smart.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Bad news, overachievers: taking so-called “smart pills” like Adderall and Ritalin to improve your mental performance probably doesn’t actually work. It’s a trend that’s been sweeping through colleges, and even the ranks of adult professionals, but scientists are having trouble finding brain-boosting effects of the drug in studies, the Daily Beast reports. In fact, one recent study indicates that Adderall simply makes you think you’re performing better than you are.

Researchers gave a group of healthy 20-somethings a test both before and after taking a pill. Then they asked how much the pill had affected their performance. Those who had taken Adderall were much more likely to think they got an edge than those who took the placebo—but they didn’t score any better. Other tests have also failed to find any substantial benefits from the pills. “There’s a huge, obvious empirical question here,” says the study’s leader. “Are they really helping?”

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Dec 29, 2010 10:46 AM CST
This is the first time I've ever heard someone refer to Adderall or Ritalin as "smart pills." They help people [who need them] to focus on something and better retain or understand something. I've never encountered anybody who takes either drug specifically to get smarter without work. Maybe just lose weight?
Dec 26, 2010 8:52 AM CST
no one takes this medication to become smarter. if your dont have add, it helps u to stay up all night to study ect, if u do have add, it helps u focus and be able to function like a normal human being
Dec 22, 2010 12:44 AM CST
ha, no... it doesn't make you smarter, just gets you super-pumped to stay up all night and clean your house/do homework