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Psychedelic Medicines Decrease Preference for Authoritarianism

TheBlackPirate

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Journal of Psychopharamcology

J Psychopharmacol. 2018 Jul;32(7):811-819. doi: 10.1177/0269881117748902. Epub 2018 Jan 17.
Increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarian political views after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.
Lyons, Carhart-Harris

Author information
Psychedelic Research Group, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK.

Abstract
RATIONALE:

Previous research suggests that classical psychedelic compounds can induce lasting changes in personality traits, attitudes and beliefs in both healthy subjects and patient populations.


AIM:

Here we sought to investigate the effects of psilocybin on nature relatedness and libertarian-authoritarian political perspective in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).


METHODS:

This open-label pilot study with a mixed-model design studied the effects of psilocybin on measures of nature relatedness and libertarian-authoritarian political perspective in patients with moderate to severe TRD ( n=7) versus age-matched non-treated healthy control subjects ( n=7). Psilocybin was administered in two oral dosing sessions (10 mg and 25 mg) 1 week apart. Main outcome measures were collected 1 week and 7-12 months after the second dosing session. Nature relatedness and libertarian-authoritarian political perspective were assessed using the Nature Relatedness Scale (NR-6) and Political Perspective Questionnaire (PPQ-5), respectively.


RESULTS:

Nature relatedness significantly increased ( t(6)=-4.242, p=0.003) and authoritarianism significantly decreased ( t(6)=2.120, p=0.039) for the patients 1 week after the dosing sessions. At 7-12 months post-dosing, nature relatedness remained significantly increased ( t(5)=-2.707, p=0.021) and authoritarianism remained decreased at trend level ( t(5)=-1.811, p=0.065). No differences were found on either measure for the non-treated healthy control subjects.


CONCLUSIONS:

This pilot study suggests that psilocybin with psychological support might produce lasting changes in attitudes and beliefs. Although it would be premature to infer causality from this small study, the possibility of drug-induced changes in belief systems seems sufficiently intriguing and timely to deserve further investigation.

KEYWORDS:
Psilocybin; authoritarianism; depression; nature relatedness; political perspective

PMID:
29338538
PMCID:
PMC6047302
DOI:
10.1177/0269881117748902

Free Full Research Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047302/
 

Cream Gravy?

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I bet if someone put 30mg of psilocybin in DJT's water he'd end up committing suicide.

I have a friend who is extremely egotistical and self-centered and I had to guide him through his first mushroom trip because all of a sudden, he wasn't the center of the universe, and it really freaked him out. It's such a critical drug. It finds all your flaws and throws them in your face and then laughs at you.
 

SunriseChampion

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I fully relate to the findings of this study.

Anecdotally, if one were to study the socio-political beliefs of my friends and then compare to their drug use I think we'd find this study's findings to be reproducible indeed.
 

SunriseChampion

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I have a friend who is extremely egotistical and self-centered and I had to guide him through his first mushroom trip because all of a sudden, he wasn't the center of the universe, and it really freaked him out. It's such a critical drug. It finds all your flaws and throws them in your face and then laughs at you.
How is he now? Tempered at least?
 

AutoTripper

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How is he now? Tempered at least?
You would hope. I have known and witnessed similar situations and personality types and responses before and Held High Hopes that positive change would occur however it is all too easy for these types to to remain in self-denial and and crawl back into their shell and put off facing their true selves for the remainder of this life in stubborn ignorance and defiance but ultimately out of Fear and perhaps deep down spiritual immaturity.

Not the case for all certainly and I'm sure many people have experienced dramatically positive personality transformations and clearances this way when previously it looked like it might be far too high a hurdle for them.

I think it will always come down to the individual and the situation and their specific point of spiritual development.
 
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TheBlackPirate

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I fully relate to the findings of this study.

Anecdotally, if one were to study the socio-political beliefs of my friends and then compare to their drug use I think we'd find this study's findings to be reproducible indeed.
That may be. We need increased research of the psychedelic medicines within the medical community. For now, once study published in the medical journal JSD validated this research with a sample size of 893. We have always known that the psychedelic medicines need more research and in recent years we are seeing progress towards forming a responsible legal framework for the medicinal use of these beautiful medicines.


Psychedelics, Personality and Political Perspectives.
Nour MM, et al. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 Jul-Aug.


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.
PMID 28443703 [Indexed for MEDLINE]
 

Pfafffed

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Here's some criticism of the study:

 

Atelier3

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It'd be interesting to see a multivariate study or correspondence analysis of DOC and political views on a large population. Although maybe pointless given how everyone on BL seems to be a polydrug user.
 

Xorkoth

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I bet if someone put 30mg of psilocybin in DJT's water he'd end up committing suicide.

I have a friend who is extremely egotistical and self-centered and I had to guide him through his first mushroom trip because all of a sudden, he wasn't the center of the universe, and it really freaked him out. It's such a critical drug. It finds all your flaws and throws them in your face and then laughs at you.
Yeah, I find that people who are "control freaks" or very egotistical have a really hard time with psychedelics.
 

Chris Timothy

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It's a bit of a faulty position to take though. Because "the man" has just as much contempt for hippies in turn, especially when thus pressed.

So all that leads to is a boring stalemate position. If you lose fascination with how far-out squares can get in their game, you also lose influence.
 

devilsgospel

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While I can understand this and at some times experienced it (moreso on my first few LSD experiences) I have had some trips that instill an intense feeling of narcissism and misanthropy. "I am God and nothing matters outside of me" type epiphanies. I think it has a lot to do with my own individual psychology and its various, uh, quirks though.

I'm not quite sure if that is necessarily the opposite of what this study suggests, but upon hearing/seeing/reading many other experiences I just found it odd. I have no issue with it although it does make me incredibly curious.

I read a similar study about the possible efficacy of psychedelic treatment on Antisocial Personality Disorder(s) and the results were apparently not great. General consensus being that it further exacerbates antisocial tendencies. I'll try to find it.
 

Burnt Offerings

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Another poster on BL was talking about this topic a while back, and they mentioned how there's a general desire for self-improvement while under the influence of drugs like psychedelic hallucinogens. But what "self-improvement" means can vary widely among people...for some individuals who have some kind of narcissistic or sociopathic personality, it could mean honing their skills at manipulating and controlling other people, for example. It's hard for me to imagine someone taking a bunch of LSD or psilocybin and embracing being a Nazi, but then again I'm locked in my own perspective.

With all that being said, it's definitely not a "panacea" for hardline reactionary sentiment but...couldn't hurt to have a wider dissemination of these kinds of substances.
 

devilsgospel

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Another poster on BL was talking about this topic a while back, and they mentioned how there's a general desire for self-improvement while under the influence of drugs like psychedelic hallucinogens. But what "self-improvement" means can vary widely among people...for some individuals who have some kind of narcissistic or sociopathic personality, it could mean honing their skills at manipulating and controlling other people, for example. It's hard for me to imagine someone taking a bunch of LSD or psilocybin and embracing being a Nazi, but then again I'm locked in my own perspective.

With all that being said, it's definitely not a "panacea" for hardline reactionary sentiment but...couldn't hurt to have a wider dissemination of these kinds of substances.
This makes a lot of sense. Not so much of an inspiration to embrace the common conceptions of oneness or morality, but a reinforcement and higher understanding of the beliefs you already hold at the deepest core of yourself. I would go so far as hypothesize that people who already have good morals and compassionate outlooks are more likely to want to use psychedelics for that reason.

As I say it though I realize how obvious it already is that hippies like to trip. But then again my theory doesn't assume that all hippies are good people and people like myself who don't care for that pattern of thinking don't like psychedelics.
 

pupnik

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Just watching "the Man in the High Castle" and found it interesting that the young Nazi's were ogiastically enjoying LSD. Of course it's TV, an imaginary world in which Hitler won the war and expanded persecution of Jews etc. into America. The Japanese took over the west coast, and several alternate realities simultaneously connect in odd ways.

I put it off because of my innate abhorrence of Nazi's but now as long as I skip the intro music (Edelweiss) I'm fine, and have even come to empathize with authoritarian figures' private lives and decisions. We all make some mistakes, some are worse than others.
 

devilsgospel

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Just watching "the Man in the High Castle" and found it interesting that the young Nazi's were ogiastically enjoying LSD. Of course it's TV, an imaginary world in which Hitler won the war and expanded persecution of Jews etc. into America. The Japanese took over the west coast, and several alternate realities simultaneously connect in odd ways.

I put it off because of my innate abhorrence of Nazi's but now as long as I skip the intro music (Edelweiss) I'm fine, and have even come to empathize with authoritarian figures' private lives and decisions. We all make some mistakes, some are worse than others.
I think this ties in well with BO's and my convo about whether or not psychedelics give you a true sense of altruism or just an intensely spiritual validation of beliefs you already hold. Because of my own experiences, as well as what I know about shitty people using psychedelics (serial killers and dictators mainly), I'm going with door #2.
 
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