Questions are currently being posed concerning the implications of the clinical uptake of psychedelics. While enthusiasm surrounds the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and critique surrounds their appropriation to commercial ends, limited attention has been given to the role of psychedelics in generating social transformation. Herbert Marcuse contended radical change requires ‘new imaginaries of liberation’. We consider whether clinical uptake of psychedelics may produce the perceptual shifts necessary to generate social transformation surrounding contemporary alienating conditions. Economic structures contributing to these alienating conditions are highly resistant to change and may neuter psychedelics' revolutionary potential. We illustrate how psychedelics may be instrumentalised: regulating individuals into unjust systems; redirecting psychedelic usage away from therapeutic ends towards productivity; distracting or diverting attention from systemic forms of control; usurping non-ordinary states into the domain of self-care; and fetishistically commodifying psychedelic experience as a consumable. There are, however, reasons to believe that psychedelics, in raising consciousnesses, may prove resistant to co-option. In particular, psychedelics induce perceptual experiences that: challenge the paradigmatic assumptions of industrial society by provoking alternative epistemologies and metaphysics; generate expanded or ecological constructions of selfhood, thereby offering resignifications of meanings, desires, and life potentials; and offer the enriched phenomenological insight into self, other, and world called for in combating ubiquitous social alienation. In this way, psychedelics may induce the revolution in perception necessary to imagine liberatory potentials and spark the desire for collective emancipation.
Electronic gambling machines are a prominent cause of significant gambling harms globally. We use simulations of a simplified video poker game to show how changes in game volatility, defined primarily by the size of the main prize, affect patterns of wins and losses as well as winning streaks.
We found that in low- and medium volatility games the proportion of winning players quickly drops to zero after about 30 h of play, while in the high volatility game 5% of players are still winning after playing for 100 h. However, the proportion of winning streaks was significantly higher in the low- and medium volatility games compared with high volatility: the simulated players were on a winning streak about 26.3, 25.6 and 18% of the time in the low-, medium- and high volatility games, respectively.
Fast-paced video poker with varying volatility levels but identical return-to-player rates and win frequencies can yield highly different result patterns across individuals. These patterns may be counter-intuitive for players and difficult to realize without simulations and visualizations. We argue that the findings have relevance for responsible gambling communication and for building a better understanding of how cognitive biases influence gambling behaviour.
While many scholars have called attention to similarities between the earlier SSRI hype and the ongoing hype for psychedelic medications, the rhetoric of psychedelic hype is tinged with utopian and esoteric aspirations that have no parallel in the discourse surrounding SSRIs or other antidepressants. This utopian discourse provides insight into the ways that global tech elites are instrumentalizing both psychedelics and artificial intelligence (AI) as tools in a broader world-building project that justifies increasing material inequality. If realized, this project would undermine the use of both tools for prosocial and pro-environmental outcomes.
My argument develops through rhetorical analysis of the ways that industry leaders envision the future of medicalized psychedelics in their public communications. I draw on examples from media interviews, blog posts, podcasts, and press releases to underscore the persuasive strategies and ideological commitments that are driving the movement to transform psychedelics into pharmaceutical medications.
Counterfactual efforts to improve mental health by increasing inequality are widespread in the psychedelics industry. These efforts have been propelled by an elitist worldview that is widely-held in Silicon Valley. The backbone of this worldview is the TESCREAL bundle of ideologies, which describes an interrelated cluster of belief systems: transhumanism, Extropianism, singularitarianism, cosmism, Rationalism, Effective Altruism, and longtermism.
This article demonstrates that TESCREALism is a driving force in major segments of the psychedelic pharmaceutical industry, where it is influencing the design of extractive systems that directly contradict the field's world-healing aspirations. These findings contribute to a developing subfield of critical psychedelic studies, which interrogates the political and economic implications of psychedelic medicalization.
Advocates of psychedelic medicine have positioned psychedelics as a novel therapeutic intervention that will solve the mental health crisis by liberating individuals from their entrenched habits and limiting beliefs. Despite claims for novelty, the psychedelics industry is engaging in the same profit-oriented approaches that contributed to poor clinical outcomes with SSRIs and other earlier pharmaceuticals, which threatens to undermine their purported clinical benefits.
We present evidence that the liberatory rhetoric of psychedelic medicalization promotes neoliberal, individualised treatments for distress, which distracts from collective efforts to address root causes of suffering through systemic change. Drawing examples from the psychedelics industry, we illustrate how the discourse of psychedelic medicalisation subjects socially-determined distress to psychotropic intervention through the mechanisms of depoliticisation, productivisation, pathologisation, commodification, and de-collectivisation.
Rather than disrupting or subverting the psychopharmaceutical status quo, the psychedelic industry's current instantiation aligns with and upholds key facets of neoliberal ideology by adhering to the same facilitative mechanisms that scholars identified in the antidepressant industry. We identify these common mechanisms in examples unique to the psychedelics industry, including the search for psychedelic analogues and political lobbying to reschedule psychedelics.
We demonstrate how a neoliberal mental health paradigm that individualises and interiorizes mental distress cannot meaningfully resolve suffering with ubiquitous origins in the current sociopolitical environment, which is characterised by inequality, precarity, exploitation, and ecological collapse. As a result, psychedelics must decouple from neoliberal incentives, and demonstrate efficacy, if they are to facilitate durable improvements in well-being and prosocial outcomes.
In the monograph Philosophy and Psychedelics: Frameworks for Exceptional Experience, Hauskeller raises the important subject of individualization and alienation in psychedelic psychotherapy. Under the prevailing conditions of neoliberalism, Hauskeller contends that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy appropriates Indigenous knowledges in an oppressive fashion, may be instrumentalised to the ends of productivity gain and symptom suppression, and may be utilised to mask societal systems of alienation. Whilst offering a valuable socio-political critique of psychedelics' clinical uptake, we suggest that Hauskeller's view does not adequately acknowledge the ways in which psychedelics offer a challenge to the Western reductive bio-medical understanding of healing and wellbeing. It is contended herein that Indigenous knowledges, in alliance with a range of emerging sciences, offer both an engagement with ethnomedicines in a less harmfully appropriative fashion, and a renewed understanding of the means by which psychedelics achieve therapeutic change. With this understanding, what becomes apparent are the potential ways in which psychedelic medical usage may produce positive feedback upon the oppressive systems in which we are embedded. That is, transpersonal experience through encounters with the ineffable may offer a revisioning of Western psychology and cognitive science. Indeed, if psychedelics are approached with an understanding of the actual means by which they produce therapeutic outcomes—changing mental representations of the self, or self-insight derived through non-ordinary states of consciousness—then psychedelic psychotherapy offers a reimagining of psychiatric nosology, challenging conventional understandings of both pathology and wellbeing through an overturning of specified and discrete deficit models of psychopathology. This may provide both a critique of the prevailing categories used to describe madness and an expansion of our understanding of the mind-body relation, as well as an increased recognition of positive psychology grounded in cross-cultural contemplative traditions. This provides an implicit challenge to the pharmaceutical industrial-complex and its profit motives; and the corresponding neoliberalist, globalising tendencies which Hauskeller seeks to address.
Problematic Internet use (PIU) has become a global public health problem. It has been suggested that parenting style is associated with adolescent PIU. However, the evidence in favor of this view is mixed. Based on the PRISMA method, the present study employed three-level meta-analysis approach to investigate the relationship between these two variables and further explore potential moderators.
After a systematic search for published articles, 35 studies were included, reporting 171 effect sizes (N = 40,587).
The results showed that positive parenting styles were significantly negatively related to PIU. This association was moderated by gender, age, publication year, and measurements of PIU, but was not by culture and measurements of parenting styles. Negative parenting styles were significantly positively related to PIU, which was moderated by publication year, culture, and sub-types of negative parenting, but not by gender, age, and measurements of both parenting styles and PIU. In addition, the correlation of PIU with negative parenting styles was stronger than that with positive parenting styles.
Discussion and Conclusions
The present results demonstrated that parenting styles, especially punitive parenting styles, should be attached to more important when treating adolescent PIU.
It is not known how self-perception and self-recognition are influenced when one is highly self-focused under the influence of psilocybin. Here we examine self-reports of mirror self-recognition and self-perception during a psilocybin experience.
Reddit posts were examined in a systematic manner. Posts that were written by individuals that ingested psilocybin and subsequently looked in a mirror were examined. After both automatic and manual filtering, a total of 89 posts with 775 post excerpts were analyzed.
It was found that it was rare to see one's own face as a different entity (e.g., an animal or other person) however people were equally likely to see themselves as they really are or distorted. People were significantly more positive than negative when perceiving their own face.
We found wide variation in the perception of the own-face while under the influence of psilocybin. While generally positive, the self-face appears to be an experience that varies dramatically from person to person under the influence of psilocybin.
Microdosing psychedelics refers to the practice of repeatedly ingesting doses that do not reach the threshold for perceptual alterations. This practice has gained attention from mass media, businesses, and the general public, as evidenced by the proliferation of online communities dedicated to it. In this contribution, we examine the content generated within the online community r/microdosing from its creation on October 16, 2013, until the day of data collection on October 31, 2020. Our aim is to examine the narratives reflected by users' contributions, specifically the compatibility or incompatibility of spiritual and scientific narratives.
We clearly identified a topic that reflects a spiritual narrative, as well as a topic that we coined as “neuro-cognition” and that reflects a scientific narrative. These topics were typically not present within the contributions of the same users, suggesting that the scientific and spiritual narratives are segregated within the r/subreddit community.
We clearly identified a topic that reflects a spirituality narrative as well as a topic that we coined as “neuro-cognition” and that reflects a scientific narrative. These topics were typically not present within the contributions of the same users, suggesting that the scientific and spiritual narratives are segregated within the r/subreddit community.
Our approach emphasizes the potential of text analytic techniques for uncovering the cultural repertoire surrounding a particular practice, in our case, the practice of microdosing psychedelics.
I propose that positive mood should not be among the criteria for determining when or if psychedelic experiences are mystical. My primary reasons are: 1) unlike rare proposed mystical criteria such as feelings of self-dissolution and time-transcendence, positive mood does not clearly separate mystical experiences from other emotionally powerful experiences like being in love; 2) other proposed mystical criteria can occur with non-positive moods; and 3) it is not true that framing all mystical experiences with only positive mood is more pragmatic.
The Journal of Behavioral Addictions featured a debate on the topic of “behavioral addictions in ICD-11” in 2022. Three main debate papers were published and a total of eleven commentaries. One main topic of considerations in the three debate papers and in the majority of commentaries was compulsive sexual behavior disorder. The debate was balanced, collegial and conducted at a high scientific level. Although there are some disagreements regarding specific details, all authors consider more research on behavioral addictions as important. This scientific debate has been and continues to be enormously important to behavioral addiction research and clinical practice.