Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Psychedelic Drugs and Personality

  • James. W. B. ElseyEmail author
  • Linos Vossoughi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_2306-1



Classic psychedelics are a class of psychoactive drugs that reliably produce dramatic changes in consciousness, with alterations in perception, thought, and feeling rarely experienced outside of dreams or religious/spiritual ecstasy. At the neurobiological level, classical psychedelics primarily exert their effects through agonistic activity at 5-HT2Areceptors and appear to disrupt typical patterns of brain connectivity, causing more disorganized or “entropic” brain activity. Acute effects of psychedelics can involve hallucinations, ego dissolution, and a feeling of unity with the universe. “Complete mystical experiences” are also possible and are characterized by a feeling of unity with the cosmos, transcendence of time and space, loss of self, a sense of awe and revelation, and a profound positive mood. Days to weeks after a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Virgil Zeigler-Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA