Predictors of attitudes toward psychedelics among psychologists in the USA

This survey (n=358) of psychologists finds that several factors make it more likely for psychologists to have a positive attitude towards psychedelics. These include younger age, male, more knowledge about psychedelics, not religious, (in)direct experience.


“As evidence for psychedelic-assisted therapy accumulates, legalization becomes more likely. As a result, there is an increasing need for psychologists to become educated about psychedelics and their therapeutic effects as they will play an important role in disseminating this treatment. Therefore, understanding psychologists’ current attitudes toward psychedelics is integral in informing dissemination and implementation efforts. In this article, we examined associations between individual difference variables and psychologists’ attitudes toward psychedelics, including age, gender, region, religious affiliation, personal experience with psychedelics, friends’ or loved ones’ experiences with psychedelics, level of training in addiction treatment, and knowledge of psychedelics. Results indicated that participants who were men, lived in West or Northeast regions of the USA, were younger, had greater knowledge of risks and benefits of psychedelics, were religiously unaffiliated, or had direct or indirect (i.e. through peers) experience with psychedelics reported more positive attitudes toward psychedelics. The only variable not associated with more positive attitudes was previous addictions treatment training. These findings suggest that psychologists are not monolithic in their attitudes toward psychedelics. Furthermore, these findings can help inform potential paths for improving attitudes toward psychedelics among psychologists, such as by emphasizing the importance of using case studies in public education efforts.”

Authors: Jason B. Luoma, Brian Pilecki, Alan K. Davis & Sarah M. Smith


Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Jason Luoma
Jason Luoma is a Co-founder and current Director of Portland Psychotherapy Clinic. He is a psychologist and researcher who is now exploring the therapeutic potential of MDMA in clinical trials.

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.

Linked Research Papers

Notable research papers that build on or are influenced by this paper

Attitudes and Beliefs about the Therapeutic Use of Psychedelic Drugs among Psychologists in the United States
This survey study (n=366) among clinical psychologists finds cautious optimistic attitudes towards psychedelics as medicines. Most psychologists indicate that they lack education or knowledge of effectiveness surrounding treatments with psychedelics.