Yes. the researcher is stating their desire to advance research into these drugs. However, a biased researcher wanting glowing reports about people tripping then having great lives would NOT advertise their survey on this web site.
Hey Hope1, I was just putting up the results of the new HPPD survey while reading your post, and a Master's degree thesis is a recent graduate with a Bachelor's and I have a soft spot for this group.
The researcher could just as easily be a person with HPPD, and asking this question:
There question the researcher is asking:
More specifically I am conducting research to understand the long term effects of psychedelic drugs by exploring whether there are differences between the perceived well-being, life satisfaction and mood of psychedelic drugs users and non-psychedelic drug users.
So, the experiment: Is there a significant different between the perceived well-being, life satisfaction and mood between people who take psychedelics differ than non-psychedelic drug users.
So, Hope1, you are a psychedelic drug user. You would probably answer very negatively on all of these areas. You would probably be way down at the bottom. But, by including HPPD individuals in the test, it allows for a representative sample to be included that (on face value) would have negative results (generally).
Generally, assuming the basic premise is as stated, research design would ask if a person has HPPD or ask questions that would inform that a person does, and use item response theory techniques to look to see if answers are highly predictable based on association with HPPD (i.e. participants that marked that they received an HPPD diagnosis could predict a person's overall score more than any other question). This should not invalidate the responses, but this becomes part of the discussion and also advanced statistical techniques can help control for this.
I have not checked up on this student and their adviser, but I think it is good science to develop a protocol to include advertising the survey on sites where people have a majority of likely negative responses while probably advertising on sites like Erowid or others that would skew towards the positive.
But, for feel good news:
I agreed to put my name on research with a conclusion that MDMA did not show significant negative side effects for a large battery of neurocognitive tests because I thought the design with the control groups was smart, I created the database of responses for import into the statistical software (lots of numbers), spent some of my best hours sitting next to one of the top 10 psychiatric researchers of the century discussing the results and statistical methods to investigate the responses and worked on part of the manuscript related to my work.
It doesn't look good on my HPPD resume, but I dare someone in the pro-psychedelic community or any research community to claim I am biased against psychedelics/enactogens, and when I do talk about the negatives and HPPD then my opinion is easier to digest without judging me as biased against psychedelics. So, I hope when I ask for research participants with the visual snow group that I don't receive a strong backlash against research because some very vocal visual snow folk have fought with me over VS having nothing to do with HPPD. The rationale was because HPPD is defined by requiring a hallucinogen, so I argued that the definition is made by humans and I know them and I know how the DSM is made and it could very well be called Altered Perception Disorder, Hallucinogen onset vs APD, not otherwise specified. However, it was an emotional argument, so I left. The point that the DSM diagnosis are often not based on a biological reality or a proven etiology, and at the time they were biased so that when 1 psychiatrists sees a patient and diagnose them with HPPD then 9 others would make the same diagnosis independently. The phrase, to cast a wide net, would apply to the methods for creating a diagnosis. The content validity of this diagnosis was sacrificed so that the diagnosis would be reliably reproducible. In many other diagnostic entities this was fixed, but until the last few years HPPD has been the ugly duckling forget about them group. Dr. Abraham is retired. He was the one sending in tons of information to prove otherwise. This is why I am so excited that my plans and a few other researchers are coming together at the right time.
I am sure you saw it, and I have this feeling (ok, I was watching the server processes queue and it looked more like a certainty) that anyone that listed a desire to be notified about research or perhaps (be notified about anything at all on this site) received an email about the Faces of HPPD research that is both published in an academic journal and Dr. Lewis's wisely had the graphics of the main conclusions available for the community without having to violate copyright.
So, if you missed that, check out: