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Ayahuasca, Self-consciousness, and Psychological Well-Being

Antonio Roazzi (Presenter), Ph.D. on Developmental Psychology, Graduate Program on Cognitive Psychology, Federal University of Pernambuco; Francisco Santos Pereira-Júnior, M.Sc. on Cognitive Psychology, Graduate Program on Cognitive Psychology, Federal University of Pernambuco; Alexsandro Medeiros do Nascimento, Ph.D. on Cognitive Psychology, Graduate Program on Cognitive Psychology, Federal University of Pernambuco; José Arturo Costa Escobar; Ph.D. on Cognitive Psychology, Grupo de Estudos sobre Álcool e outras Drogas, Federal University of Pernambuco; Antonio Roazzi, Ph.D. on Developmental Psychology, Graduate Program on Cognitive Psychology, Federal University of Pernambuco

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive tea used in ritual and religious contexts. Studies suggest its possible use for therapeutic purposes, as in the treatment of depression and drug abuse, etc. This is ex-post-facto study which investigated the use of psychoactive ayahuasca in religious context has an effect on the mind, in order to provide higher levels of selfreflective self-consciousness, and psychological and spiritual well-being. Thus, we mapped the relationships between the processes related to the self as self-consciousness and the psychological and spiritual well-being in the dependence of religious congruence of the distinct groups (ayahuasca drinkers, traditional evangelical Baptists and non-religious people non-users of ayahuasca). Participated in the study people over 18 years. Psychometric scales used to measure the constructs of interest were Situational Self-Awareness Scale, Religious Congruence Scale, Global Religiosity Scale, Subjective Happiness Scale and Spiritual Well-Being Scale, and a social-demographic. The generated data received quantitative treatment procedures of psychometrics and factor analysis, aided by examination of the interrelationships among variables with the Spearman correlation coefficient. Results showed satisfactory psychometric properties, factorial structure was replicate as found in the original studies with excellent reliability by Cronbachʼs alpha. The UDV group showed significant levels of self-consciousness (reflection), and psychological well-being. The Baptists had a positive correlation with the religious congruence and agnostics showed no significant levels of self-consciousness or well-being. In conclusion, the study corroborated the literature, in addition, demonstrated a close relationship between religiosity and well-being. Ayahuasca is presented here as an important tool in the investigation of consciousness mechanisms.

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