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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 Jul-Aug;49(3):182-191. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2017.1312643. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Psychedelics, Personality and Political Perspectives.

Author information

1
a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow , Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London , London , UK.
2
b Master's Student , Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine , Imperial College London, London , UK.
3
c Head of Psychedelic Research , Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine , Imperial College London, London , UK.

Abstract

The psychedelic experience (including psychedelic-induced ego dissolution) can effect lasting change in a person's attitudes and beliefs. Here, we aimed to investigate the association between naturalistic psychedelic use and personality, political perspectives, and nature relatedness using an anonymous internet survey. Participants (N = 893) provided information about their naturalistic psychedelic, cocaine, and alcohol use, and answered questions relating to personality traits of openness and conscientiousness (Ten-Item Personality Inventory), nature relatedness (Nature-Relatedness Scale), and political attitudes (one-item liberalism-conservatism measure and five-item libertarian-authoritarian measure). Participants also rated the degree of ego dissolution experienced during their "most intense" recalled psychedelic experience (Ego-Dissolution Inventory). Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that lifetime psychedelic use (but not lifetime cocaine use or weekly alcohol consumption) positively predicted liberal political views, openness and nature relatedness, and negatively predicted authoritarian political views, after accounting for potential confounding variables. Ego dissolution experienced during a participant's "most intense" psychedelic experience positively predicted liberal political views, openness and nature relatedness, and negatively predicted authoritarian political views. Further work is needed to investigate the nature of the relationship between the peak psychedelic experience and openness to new experiences, egalitarian political views, and concern for the environment.

KEYWORDS:

Conscientiousness; ego dissolution; liberalism; nature relatedness; openness; psychedelic

PMID:
28443703
DOI:
10.1080/02791072.2017.1312643
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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