Examining Psychedelic-Induced Changes in Social Functioning and Connectedness in a Naturalistic Online Sample Using the Five-Factor Model of Personality

This survey study (n=148) assessed changes in participants personality traits following a psychedelic experience. It was found that the use of psychedelics was associated with increases in agreeableness and substantive decreases in neuroticism, traits that are related to social functioning. These findings suggest that psychedelics may be used to treat interpersonal elements of personality pathology as well as loneliness.

Abstract

“The present study examines prospective changes in personality traits relevant to social functioning as well as perceived social connectedness in relation to the naturalistic use of psychedelic compounds in an online volunteer sample. The study also examined the degree to which demographic characteristics, social setting, baseline personality, and acute subjective factors (e.g., emotional breakthrough experiences) influenced trajectories of personality and perceived social connectedness. Participants recruited online completed self-report measures of personality and social connectedness at three timepoints (baseline, 2weeks post-experience, 4weeks post-experience). Linear mixed models were used to examine changes in outcomes and the moderation of these outcomes by covariates. The most substantive changes were reductions in the personality domains Neuroticism, and increases in Agreeableness and social connectedness. Notably, reductions in Neuroticism and increases in Agreeableness covaried over time, which may be suggestive of common processes involving emotion regulation. Preliminary evidence was found for a specific effect on a component of Agreeableness involving a critical and quarrelsome interpersonal style. Although moderation by demographic characteristics, social setting, baseline personality, and acute factors generally found limited support, baseline standing on Neuroticism, perspective taking, and social connectedness showed tentative signs of amplifying adaptive effects on each trait, respectively. Our findings hold implications for the potential use of psychedelics for treating interpersonal elements of personality pathology as well as loneliness.”

Authors: Brandon Weiss, Victoria Nygart, Lis Marie Pommerencke, Robin L. Carhart-Harris & David Erritzoe

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Study details

Topics studied
Personality

Study characteristics
Survey

Participants
148 Humans

Authors

Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Robin Carhart-Harris
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris is the Founding Director of the Neuroscape Psychedelics Division at UCSF. Previously he led the Psychedelic group at Imperial College London.

David Erritzoe
David Erritzoe is the clinical director of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. His work focuses on brain imaging (PET/(f)MRI).

Institutes

Institutes associated with this publication

Imperial College London
The Centre for Psychedelic Research studies the action (in the brain) and clinical use of psychedelics, with a focus on depression.

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