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I get high with a little help from my friends’ - how raves can invoke identity fusion and lasting co-operation via transformative experiences

Newson, Martha (2021) I get high with a little help from my friends’ - how raves can invoke identity fusion and lasting co-operation via transformative experiences. Frontiers in Psychology, . E-ISSN 1664-1078. (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:90067)

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Abstract

Psychoactive drugs have been central to many human group rituals throughout modern human evolution. Despite such experiences often being inherently social, bonding and associated prosocial behaviours have rarely been empirically tested as an outcome. Here we investigate a novel measure of the mechanisms that generate altered states of consciousness during group rituals, the 4Ds: dance, drums, sleep deprivation, and drugs. We conducted a retrospective online survey examining experiences at a highly ritualised cultural phenomenon where drug use is relatively uninhibited- raves and illegal free parties. Engaging in the 4Ds at raves or free parties was associated with personal transformation for those who experienced the event as awe-inspiring, especially for people with open personalities (n=481). Without awe, or a ritual context, indulging in the 4Ds was associated with a lack of personal growth, or anomie. A complex SEM revealed that personal transformation following awe-inspiring raves was associated with bonding to other ravers and prosocial behaviour towards this group at a cost to self in a simple economic game. Bonding to humanity was not associated with these events. The findings suggest that employing the 4Ds in a ritualised environment - particularly dancing and drug use – can help build meaningful social bonds with associated positive behavioural outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Martha Newson
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 13:38 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 11:20 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/90067 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Newson, Martha: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7700-9562
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