Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 42 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mitch Earleywine

Committee Members

Julia Hormes


ayahuasca, expectancies, hallucinogens, Ayahuasca, Psychotropic drugs, Recreational drug use, Expectation (Psychology)

Subject Categories



Given the growing popularity of Ayahuasca, we sought to identify why people might use this psychoactive brew rather than classic hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin. Experienced users (N=139) completed an online survey about their use of hallucinogens, including ayahuasca, how their ayahuasca experiences differed from those with other hallucinogens, and their willingness to use ayahuasca over other hallucinogens in the future. Participants reported meaningful differences between ayahuasca and other hallucinogens, which apparently related to positive connections to nature and other people, dramatic or terrifying negative thoughts, and aversive physical reactions. Multiple measures of self-reported likelihood of using ayahuasca again increased as positive connections increased but decreased as aversive physical reactions increased. A global score of items from the scale significantly covaried with individuals’ likelihood of using ayahuasca over other hallucinogens. These findings suggest unique qualities of ayahuasca and its effects compared to other hallucinogens, which might impact an individual’s willingness to try the substance again. Future studies might expand upon this finding by exploring individual factors that may impact ayahuasca experiences and likelihood of future use. Comparable approaches could also identify unique aspects of other hallucinogens to see if those attributes help predict a preference of one over others.

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