ASU Insight: Dr. Howard Gardner - Beyond wit and grit

ASU Insight: Dr. Howard Gardner - Beyond wit and grit

May 3, 2016

ASU Insight: Dr. Howard Gardner - Beyond wit and grit from ASU Now on Vimeo. Howard Gardner, Frank Rhodes, Harvard, Arizona State University Dr. Howard Gardner speaking at Arizona State University Download Full Image

Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981 and the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education in 1990. He has received honorary degrees from thirty-one colleges and universities, including institutions in Bulgaria, Chile, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea, and Spain. He has twice been selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. In 2011, Gardner received the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, and in 2015, he was awarded the Brock International Prize in Education.

The Frank Rhodes Lecture on the Creation of the Future: A Lecture Series for a New American University began in 2011 at the direction of ASU President Crow. Each semester an individual with a commitment to institutional innovation visits ASU to deliver a public lecture and meet with members of ASU and the community.

Ken Fagan

Videographer, ASU Now


Study: Regular teenage pot use may significantly increase the risk of paranoia, hallucinations

May 3, 2016

A study just published by the American Journal of Psychiatry finds that teenage boys who smoked pot at least once a week were at increased risk of experiencing subclinical paranoia and hallucinations, even after they stopped using marijuana.

“In this analysis we found that for each year teenagers engage in regular marijuana use, their likelihood of experiencing subclinical psychotic symptoms like paranoia increased, and these symptoms tended to persist even when they remained abstinent from marijuana use for a year,” said Dustin Pardini, an associate professor in the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “This is important because other studies have found that teens who exhibit chronic subclinical psychotic symptoms are more likely to develop psychotic disorders like Schizophrenia.” CC BY 3.0,

Pardini, together with lead author Jordan Bechtold and other researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, used data from a sample of 1,009 Pittsburgh teenage boys who self-reported their frequency of marijuana use and subclinical psychotic symptoms annually from age 13 to 18. They found that for each year teenagers used marijuana at least once a week, their odds of experiencing paranoia or hallucinations increased by more than 100 percent. Even when teenagers stopped using marijuana for a year, their heightened risk of experiencing these symptoms remained. This association was not found for tobacco, alcohol or other illicit drug use.

“Still, only a subset of adolescents that used marijuana regularly experienced subclinical psychotic symptoms, and an even smaller percentage developed psychotic disorders,” cautioned Bechtold. “We still need to understand the underlying mechanisms that account for this linkage, including why only some individuals seem to be vulnerable to the negative effects of chronic marijuana use.”

The researchers caution that observational studies, such as this one, can never definitively prove causation and note other limitations, including the use of an exclusively male sample. Additionally, boys in the study were teenagers in the early to mid-1990s. Since that time, the potency of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound primarily responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, has increased significantly.

“We know that the percentage of THC in marijuana has increased since the data were collected, and various products infused with concentrated THC are becoming increasingly available,” observed Pardini. “If there is a causal association between THC and psychotic symptoms, it might be more pronounced now than it was then.”

The study was primarily funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health. It was published online by The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) and is available at AJP in Advance.

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions