A new study says the drug makes people cooperative and helps build trust after betrayal.
According to a recent experiment published in the Journal of Neuroscience, MDMA can offer more than just love in the club. It can help people act more cooperatively with others.
Researchers found that the neurochemical effects in MDMA can help the social decision-making part of the brain which processes your assumptions of other people’s attitudes, like whether someone’s vibe feels standoffish or sweet. They put 20 British male volunteers to the test and gave half of them 100 mg of MDMA each. The other half were given placebos.
In teams of two, they played the video game, Prisoner’s Dilemma. While they were playing, the volunteers were quizzed on how much they trusted their running mates and whether they wanted to cooperate or compete with them. They were then told of what their competitor said of them and then rated their trust of them from one to seven.
Researchers found that those on MDMA who were “betrayed” by their partner were more likely to get over it and continue playing. “Anecdotally, MDMA is supposed to make you have more compassion and love for everyone, so I was actually surprised,” co-author Anthony Gabay told WIRED. “But we found that there was actually a difference in behavior depending on who people were interacting with.”
The study even states that an appropriate administration of MDMA could help those suffering from social disorders manifested through trust, such as autism and schizophrenia. But, the sample size for the study is quite small so I wouldn’t stock up just yet.
MDMA’s value in treating mental health isn’t new. It’s known to alleviate social anxiety and be used in couples therapy. But this study adds to the mounting body of research demonstrating the drug’s merit.