Development of the Psychological Insight Questionnaire among a sample of people who have consumed psilocybin or LSD

This survey study (n=1661) introduces and validates the Psychological Insight Questionnaire (PIQ) that shows independent (from MEQ and challenging experiences) predictive power on changes in well-being and life satisfaction.

Abstract

Background: Several measures have been developed to examine acute psychedelic effects (e.g. mystical-type and challenging experiences), but no measure assesses acute psychologically insightful experiences that may occur during psychedelic experiences.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Psychological Insight Questionnaire.

Method: A cross-sectional survey study among psilocybin and LSD users. Respondents (n=1661; Mage=22.9, standard deviation=8.5; Caucasian/White=83%; non-Hispanic=91%; men=72%; United States resident=66%) completed an Internet-based survey.

Results: The Psychological Insight Questionnaire consists of 23 items with two subscales: (a) Avoidance and Maladaptive Patterns Insights and (b) Goals and Adaptive Patterns Insights. Construct validity of the Psychological Insight Questionnaire was supported by strong correlations of the Psychological Insight Questionnaire (and Avoidance and Maladaptive Patterns Insights and Goals and Adaptive Patterns Insights subscales) scores with the insight subscale of the Session Impacts Scale, and weak-to-moderate correlations with the Mystical Experiences and Challenging Experiences Questionnaires. Furthermore, Psychological Insight Questionnaire (and Avoidance and Maladaptive Patterns Insights and Goals and Adaptive Patterns Insights subscales) scores were moderately-to-strongly correlated with retrospectively reported increases in psychological flexibility, and well-being/life satisfaction that were attributed to a memorable psychedelic experience. Lastly, incremental validity was established showing that the Psychological Insight Questionnaire (and Avoidance and Maladaptive Patterns Insights subscale) scores predict unique variance in changes in psychological flexibility, and Psychological Insight Questionnaire (and Avoidance and Maladaptive Patterns Insights and Goals and Adaptive Patterns Insights subscales) scores predict changes in well-being and life satisfaction, beyond measures of acute mystical-type and challenging effects.

Conclusions: The Psychological Insight Questionnaire has the potential to extend the understanding of the acute and enduring effects of psychedelics. Further longitudinal research is necessary to determine the long-term predictive validity of the Psychological Insight Questionnaire and to examine the role of psychological insight in predicting therapeutic outcomes.”

Authors: Alan K. Davis, Frederick S. Barrett, Sara So, Natalie Gukasyan, Thomas C. Swift & Roland R. Griffiths

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Study details

Topics studied
Neuroscience

Study characteristics
Survey

Participants
1661 Humans

Authors

Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Alan Davis
Alan Kooi Davis is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at The Ohio State University and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University.

Roland Griffiths
Roland R. Griffiths is one of the strongest voices in psychedelics research. With over 400 journal articles under his belt and as one of the first researchers in the psychedelics renaissance, he has been a vital part of the research community.

Frederick Barrett
Frederick Streeter Barrett is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and works at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

Institutes

Institutes associated with this publication

Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University (Medicine) is host to the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, which is one of the leading research institutes into psychedelics. The center is led by Roland Griffiths and Matthew Johnson.

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