A recent study found that psychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority and more connected with nature.
According to a new study from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, psychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority. They also found the psychedelic experience induced by these mushrooms also cause people to be more connected with nature.
“Our findings tentatively raise the possibility that given in this way, psilocybin may produce sustained changes in outlook and political perspective, here in the direction of increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarianism,” researchers Taylor Lyons and Robin L. Carhart-Harris write in the study.
Experiments in the past have had similar results, but this research team wanted to figure out whether anti-authoritarian, nature-loving people were just drawn to psychedelic drugs, or if it was the substance that brought out these traits in people. To figure this out, the team monitored a group of depressed patients who were given psilocybin and asked a series of questions both before and after the psychedelic experience. The results showed that people who were given the psilocybin did, in fact, change their views in regards to nature and authority.
The study also found that the subjects who took the psilocybin noticed a reduction in their depression symptoms as well. The control group that was not given the psilocybin had no noticeable changes in their attitudes towards nature or authority, and they did not see a reduction in their depression symptoms.
“Before I enjoyed nature, now I feel part of it. Before I was looking at it as a thing, like TV or a painting… [But now I see] there’s no separation or distinction, you are it,” one participant said in the follow-up exam.
Lyons and Carhart-Harris did caution that there was a small number of subjects in their study, so more research would need to be done to back up these findings.
“This pilot study suggests that psilocybin with psychological support might produce lasting changes in attitudes and beliefs. Although it would be premature to infer causality from this small study, the possibility of drug-induced changes in belief systems seems sufficiently intriguing and timely to deserve further investigation,” the study concluded.