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'Magic Mushroom' Compound Triggered Positive Personality Change in Study
Date:9/29/2011

chopharmacology.

Working with 51 psychologically healthy volunteers, the study authors conducted baseline personality tests before engaging the participants in a total of two to five experiment sessions, each lasting about eight hours.

The researchers said that almost all of the study participants deemed themselves to be "spiritually active." Roughly half had completed a post-graduate education.

Not all the sessions involved psilocybin. In fact, the hallucinogen was administered to participants only once, at a dose described as "moderate to high," and the volunteers were never told which session actually entailed drug exposure.

A minimum break of three weeks was allotted between sessions.

During each session, participants were asked to lay down while wearing both eye masks and headphones (with music piped in) to screen out their external environment and focus on their interior experience.

The results: repeated personality and so-called "states of consciousness" testing revealed that some critical aspects of the participants' personalities remained unchanged. In the key domains of neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, psilocybin appeared to register little to no impact.

The exception: "openness." Not only did openness increase significantly in response to high doses of the hallucinogen, it also remained at an elevated level throughout a 14-month follow-up period.

"Certainly we want to underscore do not try this at home," Griffiths cautioned. "Because clearly there are several kinds of potential downsides. One is that personality changes are personality changes. Now, we don't have any reason to think that the changes we see are toxic in any way. It appears to be a change that people value in a positive way. But certainly more research needs to be done.

"And the other note," he added, "is that we've conducted our research under conditions where we've screened out people who are potentia
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