Exploring the relationship between microdosing, personality and emotional insight: a prospective study

Hannah M. Dressler, Stephen J. Bright, Vince Polito*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    438 Downloads (Pure)


    Backround and aims: Having entered the recent public and research zeitgeist, microdosing involves consuming sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic drugs, allegedly to enhance performance, creativity, and wellbeing. The results of research to date have been mixed. Whereas most studies have reported positive impacts of microdosing, some microdosers have also reported adverse effects. In addition, research to date has revealed inconsistent patterns of change in personality traits. This prospective study explored the relationship between microdosing, personality change, and emotional awareness. Methods: Measures of personality and alexithymia were collected at two time points. 76 microdosers participated at baseline. Invitations to a follow-up survey were sent out after 31 days, and 24 participants were retained. Results: Conscientiousness increased, while neuroticism decreased across these time points (n 5 24). At baseline (N 5 76), neuroticism was associated with alexithymia. In addition, neuroticism correlated negatively with duration of prior microdosing experience, and extraversion correlated positively with both duration of prior microdosing experience and lifetime number of microdoses. Conclusion: These results suggest that microdosing might have an impact on otherwise stable personality traits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-16
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Psychedelic Studies
    Issue number1
    Early online date24 Mar 2021
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • microdosing
    • psychedelics
    • alexithymia
    • neuroticism
    • five-factor model of personality
    • mental health


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