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    Carrer de Sepúlveda, 65 , Oficina 2, 08015 Barcelona España +34 931 88 20 99
    psychedelic research investigación psicodélica

    The Illusion of Knowledge in Psychedelic Research


    The illusion of knowledge in the emerging field of psychedelic research

    Genís Oña, Maja Kohek, and José Carlos Bouso.

    New Ideas in Psychology



    About the study

    Based on the assumption that the greatest obstacle to discovery is the illusion of knowledge, this manuscript describes certain methodological aspects of the ongoing psychedelic research requiring improvement, warning about the existence of “illusory knowledge” and encouraging researchers to develop creative solutions.

    Scarcity of research, small samples used, lack of generalizability of results or underestimation of harms are some of the main concerns pointed out by the authors in their paper. Additionally, the article stresses ethical concerns such as obtaining commercial benefits using psilocybin, a molecule discovered by the Mazatec people, who suffered tragic consequences from the contact with Westerners and have never been compensated, neither from sharing their knowledge and genetic resources nor from those consequences.

    In conclusion, although the emerging field of psychedelic research is filled with expectations, enthusiasm and a remarkable hype, there’s still a lack of methodologically-sound research, an essential requirement in order to assess the safety and efficacy of these substances.



    While the field of psychedelic research is continuously expanding and offers new hope for achieving successful treatments for physical and mental disorders, certain methodological aspects require improvement. Some of the flaws are shared with clinical trials for other kinds of drugs and others are specific to the field. Given that psychedelic research is an emerging field, it is important to address these problems in a timely manner. In this manuscript, we present the main methodological issues in psychedelic research, ranging from the most manageable (e.g., non-representative samples) to the most complex (e.g., limitations of the biomedical model). In addition, given its relevance, we dedicate a section of the manuscript to a discussion of ethical concerns around psychedelic research.


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    Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.


    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: scientific research , study , MDMA , psilocybin , psychedelics , hallucinogens , methodology , psychedelic-assisted therapy