Wikipedia:WikiProject Altered States of Consciousness

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Welcome to WikiProject Altered States of Consciousness. Several Wikipedians have formed this collaboration resource and group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of Altered States of Consciousness and the organization of information and articles on this topic. This page and its subpages contain their suggestions and various resources; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians interested in the topic. If you would like to help, please add yourself as a participant in the project, inquire on the talk page, and see the to-do list, below.


Multiple methods have been described to induce Altered states of consciousness (ASCs) in humans. Among them are well known pharmacological induction methods (e.g.Hallucinogens etc.) but also non-pharmacological or "physiological" methods (e.g. Sensory deprivation, Meditation etc. ). The first aim of this Wikiproject is to improve the quality of articles that describe induction methods for ASCs or corresponding pharmacological agents, plants or rituals. Our focus within these articles is to assure that they reflect appropriate descriptions on the type and qualities of the ASc that they elicit or might elicit. Therefore we aim to:

  • Collect all articles on induction methods for ASCs and review their quality and importance (See Assessment Table below)
  • Improve the quality of descriptions of induction methods
  • Expand/improve existing articles regarding the description of induced ASCs
  • Elaborate on the interaction between induction method, individual and other factors that might influence the experiences of the induced state (e.g. Set and setting)

A body of philosophical work and empirical research has aimed to develop methods to appropriately describe (and quantify) the subjective experiences during ASCs. The second goal of this Wikiproject is to integrate corresponding information into the leading article on this topic:

Also more specific subtypes of experiences are discussed in separate articles that should be adressed:

(List should be extended)


Within the scope of the projects are articles on different induction methods for ASCs. Most prominently one distinguishes

Often these ASCs of wakefulness consciousness are separately discussed from Sleep or Coma states, which are not the primary target of this project.

Several of the induction methods for ASCs are integrated within rituals. For these induction methods we aim to extend the discussion in how far the experience a person has, depends on the context of the applied method do induce the ASC (including Set and setting). For those induction methods, where the surrounding ritual or ceremony play an important role for the induction of an ASC (e.g. for the induction of Trance states), also the historic and cultural embedding of them should be discussed correspondingly with relation to the induction of an ASC.

The characterization of Altered States of Consciousness is challenging, as the subjective experience of a person is per se privat and only accessible from a first person perspective (See Qualia). In order to make such inner states of a person measurable or quantifiable, psychological research developed different methodology (see also Introspection, and its history in psychological research). We therefore aim to elaborate the Wikipedia sections on corresponding:

  • Research methods (questionnaires, subjective reports etc.)
 * Addiction Research Center Inventory (ARCI)
 * Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI) - to be created
 * Altered States of Consciousness Rating Scale (5D-ASC) - to be created
 * Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) - to be created
  • Cognitive and neuroscientific models to explain ASC on their physiological basis
  • Contributions form the Philosophy of mind on the nature and structure of ASC experiences

Open tasks[edit]


Please feel free to add yourself here, and to indicate any areas of particular interest.

This Wikiproject was initiated by the study project ABCD: Advancing Big Consciousness Data, hosted at the University of Osnabrück from 2015-16. The initial members worked for 1 year on the topic of Altered States of Consciousness. A task force was formed to refine Wikipedia articles as a way to make the results derived from the project public to a broad audience. We founded this Wikiproject to help extending the group of people working on this subject. Therefore we welcome new members and hope the project is going to be carried on.

Meerpirat (talk) (ABCD-member: I am interested in working on methods to induce ASC) 13:48, 1 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ante Aum (talk) (ABCD-member: I am interested in working on ASC articles) 13:49, 1 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Titoschmi (talk) (ABCD-member: I am working with different methods to induce ASC as experimental manipulation in neuroscientific research) 20:00, 17 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JananinaScott (talk) (ABCD-member: I am interested in working on induction methods of ASC)

OlhaVakhovska (ABCD-member: I analyze metaphorical conceptualization of conscious experience)

Xavann (talk) (ABCD-member: I am interested in working on methods to induce ASC)

Kohlman (talk) (ABCD-member: I am interested in the neural correlates of consciousness)10:23, 28 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aiswarya (Phenomenoconnectomics-member: I am interested in understanding consciousness w.r.t brain )

Nico Manthey (Phenomenoconnectomics-member: I am interested in qualia and how they are being manifested in the brain )

Taljansen (Phenomenoconnectomics-member)

Boundary Layer I am interested in procedures that aid in the exploration of Hypnagogia, synchronicity, the effects of trance, Self-transcendence, how altered states of consciousness played an anthropological role in human evolution, in Kekule's dream-insight & in present day rational mysticism. Aug 2017

Cyril Costines (I am interested in consciousness per se.)

Kabutetay (talk) (I am interested in looking at indigenous medicines in inducing ASC) Aug 2019


New (future) articles[edit]

This section is intended to list articles that shound be newly created.

Feel free to suggeest new ASC-related articles here:

  • The assessment of Altered States of Consciousness
  • Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI) - to be created
  • Altered States of Consciousness Rating Scale (5D-ASC) - to be created
  • Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) - to be created

Articles under current edit[edit]

We are currently working on the articles listed below. During the time consuming progress of getting edits into an article, you might be interested in following discussions on the talk-pages of these articles. Your might also want to comment on some issues that are discussed there.

Edited articles[edit]

Whenever an articles has been significantly revised, it should be listed here, to make it visible that this Wikiproject is active.

The following articles have received significant revisions within this project:

Featured content[edit]

Here we will list articles that have become Featured articles during the lifetime of our Wikiproject. We hope to be able to foster the quality of several articles to reach this category.

Review and assessment[edit]


To assess the quality of individual Wikipedia articles we adopted the system of an assessment page [1] as it is realized for other Wikiprojects. Indeed the scores on the quality of each article are subjective. Our scoring does not necessarily adress the entire article, but instead focuses on the question in how far these articles reflect an appropriate discussion on Altered States experiences. In our Assessment page (the table on the right), we included those articles that deal with different methods to induce Altered States of Consciouensess.

In addition to these articles our project also adressess more general theme overarching articles on the topic which are listed separately.

Peer review[edit]

The origin of this Wikiproject was a university study project with 20 Master students at the University of Osnabrück.

For those changes on Wikipedia articles, that have been done within the 2015-2016 phase of the study project ABCD: Advancing Big Consciousness Data, all changes have undergone a previous group-internal Peer review

Good Wikipedia Practice[edit]

ASC as Biomedical information[edit]

Information about Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs) is considered as Wikipedia:Biomedical information by some Wikipedians. As some ASC phenomena are indeed dicussed in the medical literature to have therapeutic potential[1], we agree with this classification and therefore encourage all participants of this Wikiproject to stick to the corresponding "good practice rules" for Biomedical information. These have been employed to guarantee that Wikipedia articles represent a Neutral point of view.

Requirements for References[edit]

In short, Wikipedia prefers secondary over primary sources. For scientific publications, this means that peer-reviewed review articles are always ok to be used as reference. Research reports (primary literature) should be avoided and only used if neccessary and unavoidable. More information on the Sources you can find here: Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)

Dealing with Primary References (if necessary)[edit]

Sometimes it is possible that there is no appropriate Secondary literature available. If the primary reference that you want to use is a "small, old, primary study", being hard to imagine anything in the realm of WP:Biomedical information it could be carefully used to source other more mundane things. (This statement is based on advice by a senior Wikipedian, from a discussion on the talkpage of the Isolation tank article)

  • If you deal with an advanced,well maintained article: It is reasonable to first check for a general agreement among other Wikipedians on the talk-page. Edit the article only after such agreement.
  • If you deal with a minor, not-well maintained articles: You might want to do the edits directly and see if sbd. will comment on it. Please keep track of it, so you could open a discussion on the talk-page later on.



Related WikiProjects[edit]

  1. ^ Majic, T.; Schmidt, T. T.; Gallinat, J. (9 February 2015). "Peak experiences and the afterglow phenomenon: When and how do therapeutic effects of hallucinogens depend on psychedelic experiences?". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 29 (3): 241–253. doi:10.1177/0269881114568040.