A 2011 study conducted by John Hopkins University School of Medicine has found that as little as a single dose of magic mushrooms can increase the ‘openness’ trait. According to study leader Roland R. Griffiths a single dose of psilocybin, the activate and hallucinogenic component of magic mushrooms, is enough to bring about a significant change in personality.
Of the 51 participants that took part in the study, 60% reported lasting changes a year after the study was conducted. The longevity of these changes suggests that personality changes are most likely permanent. This is even more substantial considering that the trait for openness actually declines over time.
Openness is one of five personality traits measured by a ‘scientifically validated personality inventory,’ which also includes neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness and are considered to be the ‘makeup’ of our personality. Openness includes traits that are related to abstract thought, aesthetics, feelings, and imagination; furthermore, the changes in openness were greater than personality changes in healthy individuals observed over decades. Most commonly, personality changes are not even significant over the age of 30.
Griffiths, the leader of study, believes that “psilocybin may have therapeutic uses” as he is currently studying how hallucinogens can be beneficial in dealing with depression and anxiety common in cancer patients and addicts.
Griffith, Roland R., Johnson W. Matthew, and Katherine A. MacLean. “SINGLE DOSE OF HALLUCINOGEN MAY CREATE LASTING PERSONALITY CHANGE.” Comp. Stephanie Desmon. John Hopkins Medicine (2011): n. pag. 29 Sept. 2011. Web.