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Psychedelics, Personality and Political Perspectives

Nour, MM; Evans, L; Carhart-Harris, RL; (2017) Psychedelics, Personality and Political Perspectives. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs , 49 (3) pp. 182-191. 10.1080/02791072.2017.1312643. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Psychedelics, Personality and Political Perspectives
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2017.1312643
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2017.1312643
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Conscientiousness, ego dissolution, liberalism, nature relatedness, openness, psychedelic
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060868
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