The study aims to assess the association between the use of various substances (including psychedelic and non-psychedelic drugs) and personality profiles. Specifically, the association between past drug usage and personality profiles will be investigated. As psychedelics were found to influence changes in personality over time, the present study aims to measure both the current personality profile (via the Big Five Inventory-44 (BFI)) and perceived retrospective changes in personality (via a self-constructed Retrospective Personality Scale (RPS)). To our knowledge, no study has explored the diversity of substance use histories in relation to individual current and retrospective personality traits and aggregate personality profiles.
This project aims to survey a large number of participants from all around the world, using a mobile app-based survey. The remote character of the study will increase its accessibility and diversity, which are common shortcomings in the psychedelic line of research. Additionally, a remote, anonymous study setup with no face-to-face interactions might help overcome any potential concerns participants may have regarding the sharing of sensitive information (e.g., reports on illicit substance use).
To increase scientific transparency and for educational purposes, the study team plans to share results summaries (comparisons of personalized results with the aggregated ones among participants sharing similar characteristics e.g., age, substance use history), which might be an additional motivating factor for study completion. Lastly, given that drug use in the natural environment (excluding laboratory/experimental setting) is characterized by large substance diversity and poly-drug use, we aim for a large sample size (with a minimum of 36 subjects per substance(s) category) to perform subgroup analyses. Therefore, this large-scale, low-budget, naturalistic, retrospective, observational study aims to shed light on the aforementioned gap in the literature and to lay a foundation of evidence for further (observational and experimental) research within the field.