This guest blog post was written by Iona Pop PhD, sociologist at Tilburg University and author of this study on microdosing and authenticity
Microdosing psychedelics is used by a growing population to enhance mood, creativity, and overall wellbeing. But could it also influence how we feel about ourselves? Could it make us feel more authentic? These are the questions explored in a recently published article in the Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs journal.
What do we mean by authenticity?
Authenticity refers to the subjective experience of being one’s true self in a particular moment or situation. It involves aligning one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors with their internal values, beliefs, and desires. The pursuit of authentic expression is central to living a fulfilling life, as it has been linked to positive outcomes such as hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing, engagement, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence. Conversely, inauthenticity has been linked to negative affect and lower feelings of autonomy.
Study design and findings
In this study, researchers examined the relationship between state authenticity and microdosing. State authenticity refers to the subjective experience of being true to oneself in a particular moment or situation. The study used self-assessments of state authenticity collected from 18 microdosers across a period of a month for a total of 192 observations. The results showed that during microdosing day and the day thereafter, state authenticity was significantly higher.
Another important finding of the paper was that the number of activities that the participants reported to have done and the satisfaction with them were higher on the day when participants microdosed. And, and most importantly, both the number of activities and the satisfaction with them were positively related to state authenticity. In other words, the results of this paper suggest that on microdosing days, the number of activities and the satisfaction with them are higher, and in turn, state authenticity is also higher.
What do these findings tell us about microdosing and authenticity?
The study suggests that microdosing psychedelics could make people feel more authentic by supporting them in doing things that align with their values and priorities. The participants in the study reported doing more chores, cooking, and hobbies while microdosing, and they felt more satisfied with what they were doing. As such, microdosing could help people overcome procrastination and focus on what’s important to them. In other words, when people microdose, they are doing what matters to them and as a result, feel like they’re being their true selves.
The article is available Open Access here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14550725231175353