Psychedelic Science 2023

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Psychedelic Personality Change: Observations, Mechanisms, and Limitations


Psychedelic Personality Change: Observations, Mechanisms, and Limitations

I will rely on four sources of data to explore the nature and validity of scientific findings related to psychedelic-mediated personality change (PPC). First, I will present the results of a four-year meta-analytic project examining effect size change among extant studies of PPC, including prospective naturalistic and clinical trial studies and cross-sectional studies comparing long-term users to matched non-users (kprospective=15; kcross-sectional=14). I will examine how methodological rigor (e.g., using informant data, placebo-control), study design (observational, laboratory), population (e.g., healthy, patient), and measurement time-period (1week, 3months) modulate results. Second, I will explore results regarding the differential effect of Psilocybin Therapy versus Escitalopram on personality from a recent clinical trial, with focus on an intriguing between-condition difference in absorption. Third, I will share observational findings of changes in Five-Factor-Model-personality and narcissism in relation to ayahuasca ceremony (accepted in Scientific Reports, Journal of Personality Disorders). Fourth, I will share a holistic model of PPC derived from a thematic analysis of 200 qualitative reports (under review European Journal of Personality). Finally, I will comment on putative processes/mechanisms underlying observed changes, and limitations of the existing literature. A strength of this presentation will be the presenter’s background in contemporary models of personality structure and process.

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