Cognitive Dissonance Towards Medical Cannabis 

Colby Klaiman, Matin Gagnon, Mya Arellano and Dr. Thomas Clobes 

Abstract

An online survey was utilized to compare the views of individuals towards medical cannabis versus a real-world patient scenario involving the use of medical cannabis. This comparison of views towards medical cannabis as a whole versus a patient scenario using medical cannabis was used to determine cognitive dissonance. A total of 673 participants enrolled in the study, but 28 initial respondents failed to complete the final survey. This resulted in a total of 645 participants for data analysis. Various demographics were considered such as age, political orientation, religious views, education, race, employment status, and whether participants had previously used cannabis. Participants were recruited for the survey via Facebook, snowball sampling, and adult education organizations. To accurately determine the view that participants had pertaining to cannabis, the Recreational and Medical Cannabis Attitudes Scale (RMCAS) was utilized. This scale, consisting of ten questions, gave participants the options to indicate one of five options ranging from, “Strongly disagree,” to, “Strongly agree,” for each question. The questions were designed to consider several factors that may impact the participant’s attitudes towards cannabis; questions that target impact of current legal status, past use, understood future risk, and beliefs of those closest to them. The scale has been determined to be reliable, with each portion of the survey being analyzed independently. At the conclusion of the RMCAS, two scenario questions were devised to measure real-world beliefs of medicinal cannabis use with a practical application. Responses to scenario questions were standardized using a Likert scale as a Patient Scenario (PS) score. Results from a Wilcoxon signed rank test indicated a statistically significant difference (p<;0.001) in modified MCAS score compared to the Patient Scenario (PS) score among a majority of the demographics thus indicating cognitive dissonance.

Presentation

Session 2 – 3:00p.m. – 4:15p.m.

Room C – Sierra 2411 

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