Effects of alprazolam on complex human functioning

Siegfried Streufert, Usha Satish, Rosanne Pogash, Dennis Gingrich, J. Richard Landis, Lisa Lonardi, Jill Miller, Walter Severs, John D. Roache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Benzodiazepines can reduce anxiety, can have favorable effects upon sleep, and may diminish problems that interfere with patients' quality of life. On the other hand, these drugs can generate transient anterograde amnesia and may diminish aspects of task performance. Research on the impact of alprazolam and other "tranquilizing" drugs has generally focused on tasks that remain below the complex efforts of managerial or professional personnel. Alprazolam-induced reduction of anxiety under challenging conditions might aid complex task performance, yet anterograde amnesia might interfere. In the present research, managers participated in validated complex simulation tasks. In a double-blind, dual crossover design, placebo, 0.5 mg, or 1.0 mg alprazolam was administered on 2 occasions during the task day. Drug treatment diminished performance on measures that require sequential actions but improved performance on measures less subject to short term memory but more determined by long-term style of functioning. Thus, depending on task requirements, positive or negative alteration of performance might occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1912-1930
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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