MDMA promotes cooperative behavior but only with trustworthy people

Commonly referred to as ecstasy or molly, MDMA is anecdotally known to make people more open to empathetically interacting with those around them. However, a new study from King’s College London has revealed that while the drug may increase cooperative behavior, it does not make a person more gullible or naive to the influence of untrustworthy people.

The fascinating study took 20 healthy adult men and administered them either a placebo or a dose of MDMA. While lying in an MRI scanner, the participants played several rounds of a Prisoner’s Dilemma game.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game often used by psychologists to evaluate cooperative behavior and involves players choosing whether they want to cooperate or compete with another player. Points are evenly shared if both players choose to cooperate, however if one player doesn’t cooperate then that individual receives all the points.

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