Research has tested the hypothesis that group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program results in increased alertness and reduced stress in the general population, thus contributing to reduced accident rates.
by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
20 March 2017
Following the publication a year ago of a study showing reduced homicide and violent crime during the peak years of the Invincible America Assembly from 2006–2010, a new study published last month found a reduction in motor vehicle fatalities. And three additional studies will be coming out soon.
"The level of acceptance is amazing," said lead author Ken Cavanaugh. "There's rising receptivity to the notion of a field effect of consciousness and that group meditation can affect the environment."
The recent study reported that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program by participants in the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) reduced the rate of U.S. motor vehicle fatalities by a total of 20.6% over the four-year period 2007–2010.
All other accidental deaths were reduced by 13.5%. "An estimated 19,435 motor vehicle fatalities and 16,759 other accidental deaths were averted," said coauthor Michael Dillbeck.
From 2007–2010 the group size was above or near 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have a positive influence on the U.S. quality of life. This predicted threshold represents the square root of 1% of the U.S. population.
"Maharishi explains that when a sufficient number of individuals are experiencing pure consciousness during group practice, the field of pure consciousness is enlivened in the entire population," Dr. Cavanaugh said. "This field effect [called the extended Maharishi Effect] positively influences the quality of consciousness in the individuals in society in much the same direction as that experienced by those practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique."
Specifically, this research tested the hypothesis that group practice results in increased alertness and reduced stress in the general population, thus contributing to reduced accident rates.
In their study, published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, the researchers first calculated a baseline trend for both accidental fatality rates 2002–2006, and then used time series intervention analysis to compare that baseline with the corresponding trend for the intervention period 2007–2010.
For motor vehicle fatality rates, they found that a slightly declining trend during the baseline period 2002–2006 accelerated significantly beginning in January 2007 and continued declining during the intervention period 2007–2010.
In the case of all other accidents, there was a highly significant shift from a rising trend in 2002–2006 to a substantially slower positive trend in 2007–2010.
The probability that the reduced trend for motor vehicle fatalities was due to chance was 3.7 in 10 million million and for fatalities due to other accidents, less than 8.4 in 1 million.
The prediction of reduced accidental fatalities was lodged in advance. The researchers were able to rule out alternative explanations.
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