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Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking, and Subjective Well-Being.

Abstract Source:

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2019 Feb 26:1-12. Epub 2019 Feb 26. PMID: 30905276

Abstract Author(s):

Natasha L Mason, Elisabeth Mischler, Malin V Uthaug, Kim P C Kuypers

Article Affiliation:

Natasha L Mason

Abstract:

Creative thinking and empathy are crucial for everyday interactions and subjective well-being. This is emphasized by studies showing a reduction in these skills in populations where social interaction and subjective well-being are significantly compromised (e.g., depression). Anecdotal reports and recent studies suggest that a single administration of psilocybin can enhance such processes and could therefore be a potential treatment. However, it has yet to be assessed whether effects outlast acute intoxication. The present study aimed to assess the sub-acute effects of psilocybin on creative thinking, empathy, and well-being. Participants attending a psilocybin retreat completed tests of creative (convergent and divergent) thinking and empathy, and the satisfaction with life scale on three occasions: before ingesting psilocybin (N = 55), the morning after (N = 50), and seven days after (N = 22). Results indicated that psilocybin enhanced divergent thinking and emotional empathy the morning after use. Enhancements in convergent thinking, valence-specific emotional empathy, and well-being persisted seven days after use. Sub-acute changes in empathy correlated with changes in well-being. The study demonstrates that a single administration of psilocybin in a social setting may be associated with sub-acute enhancement of creative thinking, empathy, and subjective well-being. Future research should test whether these effects contribute to the therapeutic effects in clinical populations.

Study Type : Human Study
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