The Associations of Naturalistic Classic Psychedelic Use, Mystical Experience, and Creative Problem Solving
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Developing methods for improving creativity is of broad interest. Classic psychedelics may enhance creativity; however, the underlying mechanisms of action are unknown. This study was designed to assess whether a relationship exists between naturalistic classic psychedelic use and heightened creative problem-solving ability and if so, whether this is mediated by lifetime mystical experience. Participants (N = 68) completed a survey battery assessing lifetime mystical experience and circumstances surrounding the most memorable experience. They were then administered a functional fixedness task in which faster completion times indicate greater creative problem-solving ability. Participants reporting classic psychedelic use concurrent with mystical experience (n = 11) exhibited significantly faster times on the functional fixedness task (Cohen’s d = –.87; large effect) and significantly greater lifetime mystical experience (Cohen’s d =.93; large effect) than participants not reporting classic psychedelic use concurrent with mystical experience. However, lifetime mystical experience was unrelated to completion times on the functional fixedness task (standardized β = –.06), and was therefore not a significant mediator. Classic psychedelic use may increase creativity independent of its effects on mystical experience. Maximizing the likelihood of mystical experience may need not be a goal of psychedelic interventions designed to boost creativity.
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Sweat, N., Bates, L., & Hendricks, P. (2016). The Associations of Naturalistic Classic Psychedelic Use, Mystical Experience, and Creative Problem Solving. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Retrieved from https://ir.una.edu/psych_facpublications/1