Research links microdosing with psychedelics and better emotional awareness

Microdosing involves consumption of small quantities of psychedelic substances.

Microdosing with psychedelics like LSD has been associated with improved mental health. microgen/Getty Images


New research has found an association between microdosing with psychedelics with improved awareness of emotions.

In detail, the results of the study show that ingesting small quantities of psychedelic substances increases a person’s sense of purpose.

In other words, microdosing leads to greater conscientiousness.

Investigators in Germany and Australia also found that this practice lessens feelings of negative emotions or neuroticism.

To explain, neuroticism has been linked to a condition called alexithymia. The latter term means an inability to identify and describe one’s emotions.

“After at least one month of microdosing, we observed significant increases in conscientiousness and decreases in neuroticism,” researchers wrote.

The Journal of Psychedelic Studies published the paper online on March 24, 2021.

Authors titled the research ‘Exploring the relationship between microdosing, personality and emotional insight: A prospective study’.

The study involved people recruited between October 2019 and April 2020.

A number used lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic substance popularly known as LSD.

Others microdosed with psilocybin, a psychoactive element found in magic mushrooms.

Microdosing does not lead to an altered consciousness, an experience produced when ingesting psychedelics for recreational and other purposes.

“Conscientiousness significantly increased in our sample,” researchers wrote.

They noted that this suggests that “participants perceived themselves as more organized, responsible and determined after microdosing”.

“Microdosers might be able to complete their daily tasks with more focus, resulting in more reliable and organized behavior,” the authors noted.

They also pointed out that this aligns with the results of a different study in 2019, where microdosers reported “less procrastination”.

Research finds improved emotional insight

Hannah M. Dressler of the University of Göttingen in Germany led the research.

Stephen J. Bright and Vince Polito, with the Edith Cowan University and Macquarie University, respectively and both in Australia, co-authored the paper.

“Conscientiousness represents the determination and self-control of an individual,” the investigators noted.

As well, people consider these individuals as “typically considered reliable, responsible and organized”.

Further, the research found that alexithymia and neuroticism positively correlated with each other.

This demonstrates that “emotional insightfulness” increases as microdosers experience “lower neuroticism”.

Moreover, this finding lines up with previous research that found relationships between neuroticism and alexithymia.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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