Taking LSD Makes Humans More Empathetic, So Maybe We All Should Try It
There’s an old wives’ tale about doing LSD and how taking it even once will permanently change the structure of your brain.
It’s designed to be as hyperbolically terrifying as possible, to scare anyone from even considering acid.
Just a hit of the psychedelic drug, they say, and you’ll never be the same. Your brain will be forever altered.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
A new study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that LSD increased humans ability to be empathetic.
The effects of LSD on social behavior were tested using the Social Value Orientation (SVO) test. Two similar placebo-controlled, double-blind, random-order, crossover studies were conducted using 100 μg LSD in 24 subjects and 200 μg LSD in 16 subjects. All of the subjects were healthy and mostly hallucinogen-naive 25- to 65-year-old volunteers (20 men, 20 women). LSD produced feelings of happiness, trust, closeness to others, enhanced explicit and implicit emotional empathy on the MET (Multifaceted Empathy Test), and impaired the recognition of sad and fearful faces on the FERT. LSD enhanced the participants’ desire to be with other people and increased their prosocial behavior on the SVO test.
The drug basically makes people nicer. We can all agree that’s good, right?
From Psy Post:
Participants under the influence of LSD had trouble correctly inferring the mental state of a person in a photograph, but were more likely to feel concern for the person’s well-being.
In addition, the drug increased prosocial behavior as measured by the Social Value Orientation Test. The test asked participants to choose how to distribute a small sum of money between themselves and other participants. Those under the influence of LSD tended to choose a more equal distribution, rather than seeking more for themselves.
The psychedelic drug also impacted the participants’ subjective mood. LSD was associated with dreaminess, feelings of closeness to others, wanting to be with others, happiness, openness, trust, and introversion.
If there’s one thing the 2016 election taught us already, it’s that empathy is practically non-existent.
Maybe we should all take some this month.
It certainly can’t make things worse.