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The Illusion of Knowledge in Psychedelic Research

In this manuscript, we present the main methodological issues in psychedelic research, ranging from the most manageable (e.g., non-representative samples)…

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The illusion of knowledge in the emerging field of psychedelic research

Authors: Genís Oña, Maja Kohek, and José Carlos Bouso. Journal: New Ideas in Psychology Year: 2022

About the study

Based on the assumption that the greatest obstacle to discovery is the illusion of knowledge, this manuscript describes certain methodological aspects of the ongoing psychedelic research requiring improvement, warning about the existence of “illusory knowledge” and encouraging researchers to develop creative solutions.
Scarcity of research, small samples used, lack of generalizability of results or underestimation of harms are some of the main concerns pointed out by the authors in their paper. Additionally, the article stresses ethical concerns such as obtaining commercial benefits using psilocybin, a molecule discovered by the Mazatec people, who suffered tragic consequences from the contact with Westerners and have never been compensated, neither from sharing their knowledge and genetic resources nor from those consequences. In conclusion, although the emerging field of psychedelic research is filled with expectations, enthusiasm and a remarkable hype, there’s still a lack of methodologically-sound research, an essential requirement in order to assess the safety and efficacy of these substances.

Abstract

While the field of psychedelic research is continuously expanding and offers new hope for achieving successful treatments for physical and mental disorders, certain methodological aspects require improvement. Some of the flaws are shared with clinical trials for other kinds of drugs and others are specific to the field. Given that psychedelic research is an emerging field, it is important to address these problems in a timely manner. In this manuscript, we present the main methodological issues in psychedelic research, ranging from the most manageable (e.g., non-representative samples) to the most complex (e.g., limitations of the biomedical model). In addition, given its relevance, we dedicate a section of the manuscript to a discussion of ethical concerns around psychedelic research. Link to the study Contact ICEERS Research team Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash. The post The Illusion of Knowledge in Psychedelic Research appeared first on ICEERS.

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