Rotem Petranker

Rotem Petranker, PhD student

Clinical Psychology

Microdosing Results from the Global Drug Survey 2019


Objectives: this pre-registered observational study examined a population of microdosers as part of the most recent Global Drug Survey. We had four hypotheses. H1: The three most common benefits of microdosing will be enhanced focus, better mood, and increased creativity. H2: The three most common drawbacks of microdosing will be concerns about legality, physiological discomfort, and impaired focus. H3: The majority of participants who microdose will not have tested the substance they used to microdose. H4: Participants who report an approach-motivation will report significantly more benefits than participants who report an avoidance-motivation.

Methods: we recruited an online community sample from various online forums, consisting of 7,615 participants with microdosing experience. We used the single-item questions to assess benefits and drawbacks, and also whether participants tested their substances. Microdosing intention was measured using different framing for a few commons motivations. One example for an approach motivation is “to improve mood”; one example for an avoidance motivation is “to escape negative feelings”.

Results: some of our hypothesized benefits and drawbacks were supported by the data. The three most commonly reported benefits were improved mood, creativity and energy. The three most commonly reported drawbacks were none (i.e., no drawback), confusion, and reduced energy. As we hypothesized, most psychedelics users reported not testing their substances, but a surprisingly large proportion did test their substances. Finally, contrary to our hypothesis, approach-motivation to microdosing was predictive of fewer benefits than avoidance-motivation.


Rotem has a Bsc in psychology from the University of Toronto and a MA in social psychology from York University. He is currently a PhD student in York University’s clinical psychology program. His main research interest is affect regulation, and the way it interacts with sustained attention, mind wandering, and creativity – all of which interact with psychedelics. Rotem is a strong proponent of Open Science, and believes that transparency and intellectual honesty are prerequisites for making good science. Rotem is a founding member oft the Psychedelic Studies Research Program at the University of Toronto.



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