Suprise, Kirby. An MMPI-2 Study: Personality Traits of North American Ayahuasca Drinkers
Kirby Surprise – A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Psychology
in Clinical Psychology, San Francisco, California, 2006.
Thirty-four frequent North American drinkers of ayahuasca were administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2). Patterns of elevation above T=55 were found in both female and male groups for scales Hy. (Hysteria), RC4 (Antisocial Behavior), RC8. (Aberrant Experiences) BIZ (Bizarre mentation), R (Repression), O-H. (Overcontrolled Hostility), AAS (Addiction Admission) and PSYC. (Psychoticism). Personality descriptors from the MMPI-2 produced a code type of 5-6-3. This indicates personalities that may be overly sensitive, guarded or distrustful, possible angry or resentful. It implies some degree of somatic complaints, denial, immaturity, self-centeredness, and that the personality may be demanding, suggestible, and prone to a need for affiliation. The MMPI personality description was within normal limits of personality. The responses of the ayahuasca drinkers were not found to have a high correlation with the scores of drug and alcohol abusers.
A high use and a low use group comparison was done based on number of uses above or below the mean. In the high ingestion group there was a decrease in the mean T score on scales 1 Hy (Hysteria), 7 Pt. (Psychasthenia), 8 Sc (Schizophrenia), 9 Ma (Hypomania), Si (Social Introversion), MDS (Marital Distress), and AAS (Addiction Admission Scale). There was an increase in the mean T scores on APS (Addiction Potential Scale), INTR (Introversion/low positive emotionality). All scores, with the exception of low AGGR are however within normal ranges of personality. No overall difference between the high and low use groups based on mean T scores for the scales and subscales was found.
The study found personality traits of North American ayahuasca drinkers to be within normal limits of personality and had no clinically significant findings. The small moderate findings that were made reflect the personality traits of the participants at the time of their MMPI-2 responses. Thus it is not possible to determine if the obtained personality traits were influenced by the taking of ayahuasca, or if they led to ayahuasca use.
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