The effects of codeine on human aggressive responding

Ralph Spiga, Don R. Cherek, John D. Roache, Kathrine A. Cowan, Don R. Cherek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ten healthy male research subjects received placebo, 25, 50 and 75 mg/70 kg of codeine in a controlled laboratory setting. During each session subjects had two response options. The non-aggressive response option was maintained by points exchangeable for ten cents. The aggressive response option ostensibly subtracted a point from the subject's fictitious partner. Aggressive responding was engendered by point subtractions attributed to a fictitious partner. Codeine did not significantly alter the frequency of monetarily reinforced, non-aggressive, responding. Aggressive responding was significantly increased at the 50 mg/70 kg dose of codeine. The frequency of aggressive responses during the placebo sessions preceding administration of the first codeine dose were significantly and positively correlated with scores on the Buss-Durkee Hostility Scale. Aggressive responding increased for four of five subjects scoring below the median on the Buss-Durkee Hostility Scale at the 50 mg/70 kg dose; while administration of 50 mg/70 kg increased aggressive responding of one subject who scored above the median. Aggressive responding for both groups of subjects was unaffected by the 75 mg/70 kg dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalInternational clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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