This message was sent to the Santo Daime community e-group January 19th by Kirby Surprise and posted here attending his request.
A new ayahuasca study has started;
“Personality Characteristics of Frequent ayahuasca Drinkers in North America”
I am doing this study from The California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) Psy.D. program.
The study needs 50 people who live in North American and are or have been frequent ayahuasca drinkers to take two psychological questionnaires by mail. Personal security is guaranteed by the procedures outlined below. The names of the participants will never even be asked by the study. Filling out the study will take about three and a half hours.
The study fills holes in the previous study done in South America with the UDV, and advances what is known about the effect of the tea on personality by using the most solid and widely used personality test. More on the study can be found below.
So, the question to this beloved community is, would you like to participate, to contribute to what is known about ayahuasca? The study is looking for people who have taken the tea more than ten times. No personal information will be asked for, and the results may be added to the current legal arguments about harm.
About the study:
When the personality characteristics of members of the UDV in South America were studied using the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), the results were tentative due to the small number of participants N=15, which left the study not statistically powerful enough to determine the results with certainty. I am going to administer the TPQ to a larger sample, N=30, so that there is no statistical question about the results. The TPQ will be administered to North American frequent ayahuasca drinkers, the results will be compared to the previous data obtained in the UDV study. This will determine if the two groups have different TPQ scores, if the two groups have similar personality traits as measured by the TPQ. If this is true there is a strong suggestion that a common factor such as ayahuasca use is acting on both. This will be done using analysis of variance (ANOVA), a more powerful tool than used previously.
North American subjects will also be administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). This is the gold standard of personality tests, and is used for forensic evaluations, criminal evaluations, custody hearings, job hiring, personality evaluation, everyday in courts in every state of the nation. Using an ANOVA analysis it will be possible to answer two basic questions;
Do frequent drinkers of ayahuasca in North America have the same personality profiles as frequent users of other psychedelics as determined by previous MMPI studies?
Do frequent drinkers of ayahuasca in North America have the same personality profiles as the general population?
The legal arguments over ayahuasca and religious freedom are partly centered on if ayahuasca is physically or psychologically harmful to the drinker. As of yet there is no evidence that it is in fact physically harmful if properly used, but the psychological effects on drinkers have been left to be argued without statistically solid evidence. This study will be the strongest evidence to date about frequent drinkers. I believe that the final results will show that the subjects either have no significant differences with the population in general, or that ayahuasca drinkers have personality traits like those of other psychedelic users. If the latter is true, the finding is still in the favor of ayahuasca producing no significant harm. Previous MMPI studies of psychedelic users have shown that although their profiles do differ from the general population, the studies do not indicate that the differences are great enough to cause clinical concern. Either way, the test would show that personality traits are not altered sufficiently by frequent ayahuasca use to be of concern.
Ideally the study should be done completely with members of the UDV, both so that the data from the previous TPQ can be used, and because the UDV is currently at the center of legal battle over ayahuasca and religious freedom. If you are a member of the UDV, or can get them to respond, please contact them.
The personal security of the participants in the study will be provided for in the following way; When someone agrees to participate a test packet is addressed to them, and their personal information is destroyed before the packet is mailed, so there is no record of it being sent to them. Before the subject can answer any questions, there is no record of who the tests were sent to. The test materials have a serial number on them, but no personal information is asked for on any of the materials. A SASE is included for the return of the test materials that has no return address on it, so when the tests are returned, there is no way to trace where it was sent from. Any postmarks are destroyed along with the return envelope. Even so, the serial number of the test can be sent anonymously, and the data will be removed from the study if the subject so desires.
The results of this study will not be able to show ayahuasca has beneficial psychological effects, that would require a before and after condition study, which is obviously impossible at this time. It can however present evidence that people who drink the tea frequently are not presenting as having suffered personality disorders from its use.
If you are willing participate, or to help finding participants for the study, your efforts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Blessed be.
Kirby Surprise 3735
Carol StreetPinole, CA. 94564