Personal bias suppression

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Personal bias suppression (also called cultural filter suppression) is defined as a decrease in the personal or cultural biases, preferences, and associations which a person knowingly or unknowingly filters and interprets their perception of the world through.[1]

Analyzing one's beliefs, preferences, or associations while experiencing personal bias suppression can lead to new perspectives that one could not reach while sober. The suppression of this innate tendency often induces the realization that certain aspects of a person's personality, world view and culture are not reflective of objective truths about reality, but are in fact subjective or even delusional opinions.[1] This realization often leads to or accompanies deep states of insight and critical introspection which can create significant alterations in a person's perspective that last anywhere from days, weeks, months, or even years after the experience itself.

Personal bias suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as conceptual thinking, analysis enhancement, and especially memory suppression. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogens such as dissociatives and psychedelics. However, it can also occur to a much lesser extent under the influence of very heavy dosages entactogens and cannabinoids.


Imitation was a basis for human evolution and the development of culture in early hominins, beginning with the primordial roles of mimesis in human learning and shared intersubjective experience. It's been proposed that mimesis was at the basis of a co-evolution of our capacities for cognition and culture, providing a “a single neurocognitive adaptation…[for] mime, imitation, gesture, and the rehearsal of skill.” This intuitive form of communication provided by the mirror neuron system also facilitated interpretation of complex social situations and attributing meaning to others through this capacity to infer others' thoughts, intentions and desires.

These expressive manifestations of mimesis in dance, music, and ritual provided a publicly accessible system of meaning. These expressive capacities of mimesis provided the basis for the evolution of the symbolic human mind into what is called mimetic culture and mythic culture. It's been shown how this mimetic complex of dance, music, drumming and rhythmic enactment was the context within which the collective rituals of ancient hominins were transformed into the visionary rituals of shamanism. Psychedelic plant use enhanced the access to this visual system and its information capacities.

The recognition of these visual experiences of psychedelics as symbolic representations has a precedent in the concept of presentational symbolism. Presentational symbolism is an imagetic capacity that is foundational to meaning-making, a symbolic representation system that precedes and supports our rational, language based consciousness. This ancient mode of imaginal consciousness appears in dreams and daydreaming, as well as shamanic visions, mystical experiences, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and psychedelic visions. These processes may be released by a variety of mechanisms that cause disruptions in filtering processes that normally repress these archaic forms of cognition.

It's also been proposed that these processes also function constantly in our daily life, a kind of autonomic cognitive act that produces conscious experiences and affect in a synthesis of perception and thinking. Visionary experiences express a personal affectivity and representational capacities that directly present to the subject material that emerges from their own deep personal affective layers of consciousness. Psychedelic-induced visionary experiences involve the stimulation of powerful manifestations of this latent human cognitive capacity that is a background to all experience. When released by psychedelics this visionary modality easily and effortlessly takes dominance of our consciousness through an internal engagement with deep narrative levels of the mind that present the significant affective dynamics of life. It's been noted that this expressive system provides a medium for three forms of material essential for the performance of thinking: the ability to retain in mind an object; engender other cognitions regarding this image object; and manipulate these to consider future possibilities.[2]

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

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Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Horváth, Lajos; Szummer, Csaba; Szabo, Attila (2017). "Weak phantasy and visionary phantasy: the phenomenological significance of altered states of consciousness". Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. 17 (1): 117–129. doi:10.1007/s11097-016-9497-4. ISSN 1568-7759. 
  2. Winkelman, M. J. (2017). "The Mechanisms of Psychedelic Visionary Experiences: Hypotheses from Evolutionary Psychology". Frontiers in Neuroscience. 11. ISSN 1662-453X.