Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Volume 50 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, ed. Richard Dienstbier, Rick A. Bevins, and Michael T. Bardo. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2004. Copyright © 2004 University of Nebraska Press. Used by permission.


In reviewing the 25-year history of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Benjamin and Jones (1979) noted that the Symposium was "the longest-lived topical series in American psychology, with 'I national and international reputation" (p. ix). On March 28 and 29 of 2002, with a packed auditorium on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, this record was doubled in life. As the reader will quickly see from the list of contributors, the reputation of the Symposium was also maintained on its 50th Anniversary. Before continuing, we would like to reiterate the thanks in the Preface for all those who supported the Symposium with their hard work, thoughtful effort, and generous support. We are also grateful to the selection committee for choosing our proposal for the 50th Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. We believe it is fitting that drug abuse be the topic for this Symposium. Drug abuse and its associated personal and fiscal costs reflect the largest health problem in the United States (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2001). Psychology, as a broad integrated field of inquiry, has much to contribute to understanding and solving this serious problem. The contents of this volume clearly support this claim.