Author Identifiers

Sherri Lee Murphy

ORCID: 0000-0003-3736-4070

Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Arts & Humanities

First Advisor

Dr Greg Dear

Second Advisor

Dr Stephen Bright

Field of Research Code

170106

Abstract

Calls to provide sanctioned pill testing (drug checking) at music festivals has met with resistance from most Australian governments due to a concern that such services would increase use of ecstasy and other drugs. To address an important gap in current knowledge, I investigated how a pill testing service might influence intention to use ecstasy. I also drew from the Theory of Planned Behaviour to examine what determinants of behaviour predict intention to use a pill testing service. Music festival attendees (N = 247) were presented with three hypothetical pill testing scenarios: The current legal circumstance where consumers only have access to poorly reliable reagent testing kits that can be purchased online, an onsite pill testing service, and a fixed site pill testing. Results revealed that there was no significant difference in the mean scores of Intentions for participants (n = 35) who had never used ecstasy, or participants (n = 212) who had ever used ecstasy. These data provide no evidence that offering a pill testing service at a festival will result in ecstasy use by people who have never used ecstasy or lead to increased use among people with past ecstasy use. The combination of attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, gender and education level predicted intention to use a fixed site pill testing service, while only subjective norms predicted intention to use an onsite service. The Theory of Planned Behaviour works well when a person has to engage in a series of deliberate planned behaviours, but not as well when the behaviour involves a simple decision influenced by social networks and perceptions of peer support.

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