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Psychedelics; Intention and attitude amongst the general public

Raju, Mr Karan Karthik (2020) Psychedelics; Intention and attitude amongst the general public.

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Abstract:The present study examines the attitude towards psychedelic substances and its uses amongst the general population. Psychedelics are defined as substances that increase connectivity among typically unrelated brain networks, its physiological effects being induced by an increase of serotonin receptors. Previous research conducted in the 1950s and 60s supposes a high potential for psychedelic medications to markedly alleviate depression and suffering, associated with terminal illness. Further exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics was undermined after the 1960s, due to media and societal narratives. However, recent studies shed light on the safety and efficacy of psychedelic substances when administered in a medically supervised and monitored approach. Nevertheless, psychedelics are still illegal in many countries; the level of acceptance amongst the general public and the field of pharmacology is still unknown. Hence, an investigation of the attitude and the intention towards using psychedelics is subject to the current study.The theory of planned behaviour along with a brief adaptation of the ABC model is used in this study for creating a framework that is designed to observing the attitude towards psychedelics and the effect of this attitude and subjective norm on the intention to try psychedelics. From an exploratory perspective the study also looks to answer additional questions that could shed light on the effects of sources of information and previous experiences on the formation of the attitude and intention towards psychedelics. With the help of a questionnaire, responses from 284 participants were collected. Using regression analysis it was concluded that the Media narratives help to maintain a more negative attitude towards psychedelics, while fear reduces the intention to try and induces a negative Attitude towards psychedelics. The analysis also revealed that people with previous experiences had very different opinions and intentions towards psychedelics than the ones who had not had any experience. The motivation of this paper is in parallel with other research which claims to present the need for attitude change from an institutional and reputational perspective for a progressive scientific growth in the field of psychedelics. Therefore, the vision of this study is to foster a scientific discourse that is more balanced in order to explore the relevant risks and uses of psychedelics.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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