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Positive expectations predict improved mental-health outcomes linked to psychedelic microdosing

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Title: Positive expectations predict improved mental-health outcomes linked to psychedelic microdosing
Authors: Kaertner, L
Steinborn, M
Kettner, H
Spriggs, M
Roseman, L
Buchborn, T
Timmermann Slater, C
Erritzoe, D
Carhart-Harris, R
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Psychedelic microdosing describes the ingestion of near-threshold perceptible doses of classic psychedelic substances. Anecdotal reports and observational studies suggest that microdosing may promote positive mood and well-being, but recent placebo-controlled studies failed to fnd compelling evidence for this. The present study collected web-based mental health and related data using a prospective (before, during and after) design. Individuals planning a weekly microdosing regimen completed surveys at strategic timepoints, spanning a core four-week test period. Eightyone participants completed the primary study endpoint. Results revealed increased self-reported psychological well-being, emotional stability and reductions in state anxiety and depressive symptoms at the four-week primary endpoint, plus increases in psychological resilience, social connectedness, agreeableness, nature relatedness and aspects of psychological fexibility. However, positive expectancy scores at baseline predicted subsequent improvements in well-being, suggestive of a signifcant placebo response. This study highlights a role for positive expectancy in predicting positive outcomes following psychedelic microdosing and cautions against zealous inferences on its putative therapeutic value.
Date of Acceptance: 28-Dec-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/86428
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-81446-7
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 11
Issue: 1941
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2021
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2021-01-21
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine
Department of Brain Sciences

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