Yale psychologists conducted the first study to investigate the effects of psychedelics on mood outside of a laboratory. They make you happier!
Psychedelics Make You Feel Good
Yale researchers conducted field studies involving over 1,200 people at music festivals across the US and UK. Beyond confirming that psychedelics can boost mood, the study employed a novel method of collecting data. Previous studies have shown that psychedelics increase social behavior and feelings of connectedness. In those examples, the research was conducted in a laboratory. Setting matters.
For this latest study, the natural environment offered researchers a real-life snapshot of how psychedelics impact our psychology. Drawing from a large pool of people, the head of the Yale research team, Molly Crockett, confirmed that the use of psychedelics “is strongly associated with a sense of personal transformation and this, in turn, is associated with positive mood.”
According to Crockett, a transformative experience is a “substantial change in one’s personal values and priorities that [are] practically impossible to accurately imagine in advance.”
According to the team’s findings, psychedelics “blur the lines between self and outside world, causing feelings of oceanic boundlessness or external unity.”
The Study Did Not Look at Negative Effects
Psychedelics increase positivity in mood and feelings of connectedness. However, researchers did not delve into negative effects, such as nausea, tension, sweating, and dizziness. According to Crockett, “most effects of psychedelic substances, both positive and negative, are mental effects.”
In other words, one might feel some discomfort as the trip begins. Calling it negative is a bit of a stretch, however. Crockett says that most effects are in your mind. Fortunatley, psychosomatic symptoms can be overcome.
In the future, the researchers aim to conduct a study investigating various substance types, such as LSD, mescaline, DMT, and psilocybin. This way they can evaluate how each substance specifically affects one’s experience.