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Psychological journals are peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journals that publish original work in some areas of psychology. The most common publications include cognitive, health and clinical psychology, applied, developmental, biological, social, experimental, and educational psychology, and psychoanalysis.

Behavioral Sciences

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Abstract

Background

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, is increasingly discussed in terms of its psychotherapeutic potential; however, little is known about community attitudes towards psilocybin assisted therapy (PAT).

Aims

To address the question: What are the public's attitudes towards psilocybin and psilocybin-assisted therapy? And what factors explain these attitudes?

Methods

This study investigated the attitudes of 118 young adults in the Australian Capital Territory through an online survey.

Results

Participants who were more open to experience and who had used recreational drugs were more likely to have positive attitudes towards all aspects of PAT. Additionally, psychedelic drug use and agreeableness was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin safety, legality, and research; and psilocybin use was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin knowledge and acceptability.

Conclusions

This convenience sample of young adults was generally positively disposed towards PAT. People who were more open to experience and who had used recreational or psychedelic drugs had more favourable attitudes towards PAT.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Alex M.T. Russell
,
Matthew Browne
,
Nerilee Hing
,
Matthew Rockloff
,
Philip Newall
,
Nicki A. Dowling
,
Stephanie Merkouris
,
Daniel L. King
,
Matthew Stevens
,
Anne H. Salonen
,
Helen Breen
,
Nancy Greer
,
Hannah B. Thorne
,
Tess Visintin
,
Vijay Rawat
, and
Linda Woo

Abstract

Background

Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are one of the most harmful forms of gambling at an individual level. It is unclear whether restriction of EGM functions and accessibility results in meaningful reductions in population-level gambling harm.

Methods

A natural policy experiment using a large (N = 15,000) national dataset weighted to standard population variables was employed to compare estimates of gambling problems between Australian residents in Western Australia (WA), where EGMs are restricted to one venue and have different structural features, to residents in other Australian jurisdictions where EGMs are widely accessible in casinos, hotels and clubs. Accessibility of other gambling forms is similar across jurisdictions.

Results

Gambling participation was higher in WA, but EGM participation was approximately half that of the rest of Australia. Aggregate gambling problems and harm were about one-third lower in WA, and self-reported attribution of harm from EGMs by gamblers and affected others was 2.7× and 4× lower, respectively. Mediation analyses found that less frequent EGM use in WA accounted for the vast majority of the discrepancy in gambling problems (indirect path = −0.055, 95% CI −0.071; −0.038). Moderation analyses found that EGMs are the form most strongly associated with problems, and the strength of this relationship did not differ significantly across jurisdictions.

Discussion

Lower harm from gambling in WA is attributable to restricted accessibility of EGMs, rather than different structural features. There appears to be little transfer of problems to other gambling forms. These results suggest that restricting the accessibility of EGMs substantially reduces gambling harm.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

Both Peyote and San Pedro cacti contain mescaline, a classical psychedelic eliciting mystical and visual effects, but only Peyote is a vulnerable species. We sought to address the questions 1; do people who use Peyote substitute with San Pedro, and vice versa, and; 2. how popular is the use of wild harvested mescaline cactus compared with the use of cultivated plants?

Methods

Data were collected as part of the 2022 Global Drug Survey, a self-report survey distributed internationally in 11 languages. We asked mescaline cacti consumers about consumption practices, preferences and conservation and conducted chi square tests of associations comparing all motivations by preferred mescaline source.

Results

Of participants who reported using mescaline in the last 12 months (N = 284; 73.2% male, 21.8% female, 5.0% other gender; mean age 36.3, SD 12.5), 20.0% reported consuming Peyote collected from native habitats. Of participants specifying Peyote as their preferred source of mescaline, 82.2% had consumed Peyote in the past 12 months. Indigenous cultural traditions (57.8%), availability (40.0%) and environmental sustainability (33.3%) were the most commonly reported motivations for Peyote preference (n = 45), whereas for San Pedro (n = 86), availability (54.7%), potency (45.3%) and indigenous cultural traditions (44.2%) were most the commonly reported San Pedro preference motivations. Price and potency were significantly more likely to be chosen by those preferring San Pedro compared with Peyote. Less than 7% of participants who consumed San Pedro in the past 12 months had consumed San Pedro from native habitats. Of the participants who specified San Pedro as their preferred source of mescaline, 96.5% had consumed San Pedro in past 12 months. San Pedro was the most commonly reported source of mescaline product consumed (56.1%) with Trichocereus bridgesii being the most reported preferred San Pedro species. Mescaline cacti consumed in the last 12 months rarely deviated from mescaline cacti of preference.

Conclusions

Wild Peyote is not the most popular mescaline source, but consumption of related products remains unsustainable. Promoting San Pedro as a Peyote substitute may act as an intervention to reduce Peyote consumption.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

Loot boxes are digital containers of randomised rewards available in many video games. Individuals with problem gambling symptomatology spend more on loot boxes than individuals without such symptoms. This study investigated whether other psychopathological symptomatology, specifically symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and hoarding may also be associated with increased loot box spending.

Methods

In a large cross-sectional, cross-national survey (N = 1,049 after exclusions), participants recruited from Prolific, living in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, provided self-reported loot box spending, obsessive-compulsive and hoarding symptomatology, problem gambling symptomatology, and consumer regret levels.

Results

There was a moderate positive relationship between loot box spending and obsessive-compulsive symptoms and hoarding. Additionally, greater purchasing of loot boxes was associated with increased consumer regret.

Discussion and Conclusion

Results identified that those with OCD and hoarding symptomatology may spend more on loot boxes than individuals without OCD and hoarding symptomatology. This information helps identify disproportionate spending to more groups of vulnerable players and may assist in helping consumers make informed choices and also aid policy discussions around the potentialities of harm.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Rafael Ballester-Arnal
,
Jesús Castro-Calvo
,
Marta García-Barba
,
Juan Enrique Nebot-García
, and
María Dolores Gil-Llario

Abstract

Background and aims

Despite the inclusion of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB) as a diagnostic entity in the ICD-11 and the increasing number of studies addressing psychological factors leading to its onset and maintenance, little is known about the role of hormonal factors when accounting for this clinical condition (especially in women). This study aimed to provide insights into the association between testosterone levels (i.e., the androgen more intimately linked to sexual desire and arousability) and CSB in both men and women.

Methods

A total of 80 participants (40 men [Mage = 22.31; SD = 2.93] and 40 women [Mage = 21.79; SD = 2.06]) provided a saliva sample for the estimation of the level of free testosterone and completed a battery of measures assessing CSB and other related sexual domains (sexual sensation seeking and online/offline sexual behavior).

Results

In men, salivary testosterone had a positive and significant correlation with three scales assessing CSB (r between 0.316 and 0.334). In women, these correlations were small and non-significant (r between 0.011 and 0.079). In both men and women, the level of salivary testosterone had small non-significant correlations with the other domains of sexual behavior assessed.

Discussion and conclusions

Individuals' level of testosterone may contribute to the etiopathogenesis of CSB, but only in men. In women, alternative psychological –i.e., motivational, behavioral, or cognitive– processes may be playing a more central role in the expression of this condition.

Open access

Abstract

Objectives

When individuals recover from gambling disorder, their involvement in other potentially addictive substances and behaviors may also subsequently increase (substitution) or decrease (concurrent recovery). The objectives of this study were to identify and compare recovery processes associated with substitution and concurrent recovery in gambling disorder.

Methods

A mixed-method study was conducted with 185 people who were recovered from gambling disorder. Semi-structured interviews were used to: (i) establish onset and recovery of gambling disorder as well as other substance and behavioral addictions; and (ii) assess processes (e.g., reasons, emotional state, helpfulness) associated with addiction substitution and concurrent recovery. Participants also completed a survey assessing demographic characteristics, gambling behaviors, and psychological characteristics to compare demographic and clinical differences between participants who engaged in addiction substitution, concurrent recovery, or neither (controls).

Results

The most frequently reported reason for engaging in addiction substitution was as a substitute coping mechanism. The most reported reason for engaging in concurrent recovery was due to the addictions being mutually influenced. Negative emotional states were common when engaging in both addiction substitution and concurrent recovery. Although the three groups did not differ on gambling characteristics, addiction substitution was associated with greater underlying vulnerabilities including childhood adversity, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and, maladaptive coping skills.

Conclusion

Transdiagnostic treatments that target the underlying mechanisms of addictions may reduce the likelihood of engaging in addiction substitution.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Research into the social aspects of set and setting have demonstrated that race is a significant factor in psychedelic experiences for racially marginalized populations. Yet, many studies of psychedelic-induced experiences continue to proceed without collecting data on or considering the influence of race or other social categories. These approaches abstract subjectivity from its embodied and historical conditions, isolating consciousness in ways that do not accord with lived experience.

Methods

This article draws on critical phenomenology, anthropology, and treatments of race in the field of psychedelic studies to outline how social categories mediate subjective experience in historically specific ways through the framework of embodiment.

Results

I argue that consciousness is fundamentally intersubjective, including during psychedelic-induced experiences. Intersubjectivity is an existential condition that makes possible meaning, communication, and socialization, processes which rely on and are perpetually (re)enacted through social categories. Therefore, studies of psychedelic-induced experiences must account for the foundational role that social categories play in constituting such embodied experiences and their effects.

Conclusions

This approach makes embodied differences matter to the study of psychedelic-induced experiences, opening new avenues of inquiry that foreground identity, power, and context in both clinical and naturalistic research.

Open access