Education

Scientific Research on Consciousness Based Education

Published research on the Transcendental Meditation® program in educational settings has shown a wide range of practical benefits for both students and teachers. Benefits for students include decreased stress and stress-related disorders, reduced substance abuse, increased intelligence, increased learning ability, improved memory, improved academic performance, and improved standardized test scores. Benefits for teachers include decreased stress and stress-related disorders, decreased anxiety, reduced substance abuse, increased creativity, improved job satisfaction, improved interpersonal relationships, and reduced health care utilization and costs.

Research Summary

Benefits to Education

Research on the Transcendental Meditation program in educational settings during the past 38 years has shown a wide range of practical benefits for both students and teachers.

  • Increased intelligence
    Intelligence
  • Improved academic performance
    Education
  • Increased self-development
    Journal of Social Behavior and Personality
  • Increased calmness
    Physiology & Behavior
  • Reduced anxiety
    Journal of Clinical Psychology  
  • Decreased depression
    Journal of Counseling and Development
  • Improved behavior among adolescents
    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
  • Reduced substance abuse
    Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly

Universities and Medical Schools

Research has been conducted on the Transcendental Meditation program at 250 independent universities and medical schools, including:

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Yale Medical School
  • University of Virginia Medical Center
  • University of Michigan Medical School
  • University of Chicago Medical School
  • University of Southern California Medical School
  • UCLA Medical School
  • UCSF Medical School
  • Stanford Medical School

University of Connecticut

At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity through Transcendental Meditation
This newly-completed study found that 106 at-risk adolescents in three high schools reduced their levels of stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and emotional problems when practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for four months at school, as compared with controls.

  • Robert Colbert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut
  • Annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008

American University

Transcendental Meditation produces positive effects on health, brain functioning, and cognitive development in students
Preliminary results from this new two-year study of 250 college students at American University in Washington, D.C., found that the TM program produced beneficial effects for health, brain functioning, and cognitive development compared to controls.

  • David Haaga, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the James J. Gray Psychotherapy Training Clinic, American University
  • (In press)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center-Los Angeles

Transcendental Meditation reduces hypertension, obesity, and diabetes in patients with coronary heart disease
This study of 103 people with coronary heart disease found that individuals practicing Transcendental Meditation for four months had significantly lower blood pressure; improved blood glucose and insulin levels (which signify reduced insulin resistance); and more stable functioning of the autonomic nervous system compared to controls.

  • C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., Director of the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Professor of Medicine at the UCLA Medical School
  • American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2006

Medical College of Georgia

Reduced high blood pressure among high school students
This eight-month study of 156 hypertensive African American high school students found that the Transcendental Meditation program reduced high blood pressure among the meditating students as compared with little or no change in the control group. (Twenty percent of African American teenagers suffer from high blood pressure.)

  • Vernon Barnes, Ph.D., physiologist and research scientist, Georgia Prevention Institute, Medical College of Georgia
  • American Journal of Hypertension, April 2004

University of Michigan

Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and increases happiness among middle school students
Two studies on 60 sixth-graders at two middle schools found the practice of Transcendental Meditation over four months positively affected emotional development in early adolescent children in a school setting. Meditating students also had significantly higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence.

  • Rita Benn, Ph.D., Director of Education, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Research Center, University of Michigan
  • National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, April 2003

University of California at Irvine

Transcendental Meditation reduces the brain's reaction to stress
In this pilot study, 12 subjects practicing Transcendental Meditation for 30 years showed a 40-50% lower brain response to stress and pain compared to 12 healthy controls. Further, when the controls then learned and practiced Transcendental Meditation for five months, their brain responses to stress and pain also decreased by a comparable 40-50%.

  • David Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., study director, Neuroimaging Laboratory, University of California at Irvine
  • NeuroReport, August 2006

Bibliography of the research findings relevant to education

Improved Brain Functioning

  1. Human Physiology 25 (1999) 171-180.
  2. Psychophysiology 31 Abstract (1994) S67.
  3. Psychophysiology 27 Supplement (1990) 4A.
  4. Psychophysiology 26 (1989) 529.
  5. International Journal of Neuroscience 15 (1981) 151-157.
  6. International Journal of Neuroscience 14: (1981) 147-151.
  7. International Journal of Neuroscience 13: (1981) 211-217.
  8. Psychosomatic Medicine 46: (1984) 267-276.

Increase Blood Flow to the Brain

  1. Physiology & Behavior, 59(3) (1996): 399-402 .
  2. American Journal of Physiology 235(1)(1978): R89-R92.
  3. Psychophysiology 13 (1976): 168.
  4. The Physiologist 21 (1978): 60.

Increased Flexibility of Brain Functioning

  1. Biological Psychology, 55 (2000): 41-55.
  2. Psychophysiology 14 (1977): 293-296.

Increased Efficiency of Information Transfer in the Brain

  1. Motivation, Motor and Sensory Processes of the Brain, Progress in Brain Research 54 (1980): 447-453.
  2. International Journal of Neuroscience 10 (1980): 165-170.
  3. Psychophysiology 26 (1989): 529.

Mobilization of the Latent Reserves of the Brain

  1. Proceedings of the International Symposium Physiological and Biochemical Basis of Brain Activity, St. Petersburg, Russia, (June 22-24, 1994).

Increased Intelligence in Secondary and College Students

  1. Intelligence 29/5 (2001): 419-440.
  2. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences 12 (1991): 1105-1116.
  3. Perceptual and Motor Skills 62 (1986): 731-738.
  4. College Student Journal 15 (1981): 140-146.
  5. Journal of Clinical Psychology 42 (1986): 161-164.
  6. Gedrag: Tijdschrift voor Psychologie [Behavior: Journal of Psychology] 3 (1975): 167-182.
  7. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7) (1978): 3372B-3373B.
  8. Higher Education Research and Development 15 (1995): 73-82.

Increased Creativity

  1. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (1989) 950-964.
  2. The Journal of Creative Behavior 19 (1985) 270-275.
  3. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7): 3372B-3373B, 1978.

Improved Memory

  1. Memory and Cognition 10 (1982): 207-215.

Improved Academic Performance

  1. Education 107 (1986): 49-54.
  2. Education 109 (1989): 302-304.
  3. British Journal of Educational Psychology 55 (1985): 164-166.

Benefits in Special Education

  • Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 42 (1981) 35-36.
  • Journal of Biomedicine 1 (1980) 73-88.

Increased Integration of Personality

Increased Self-Confidence and Self-Actualization

  1. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 6 (1991): 189-247.
  2. Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 286-341.
  3. British Journal of Psychology 73 (1982) 57-68.
  4. College Student Journal 15 (1981): 140-146.
  5. Journal of Counseling Psychology 20 (1973): 565-566.
  6. Journal of Counseling Psychology 19 (1972): 184-187.

Improved Perception

  1. Perceptual and Motor Skills 49 (1979): 270.
  2. Perceptual and Motor Skills 64 (1987): 1003-1012.

Increased Efficiency of Perception and Memory

  1. Memory and Cognition 10 (1982): 207-215.

Orientation Towards Positive Values

  1. Perceptual and Motor Skills 64 (1987): 1003-1012.

Improved Problem-Solving Ability

  1. Personality and Individual Differences 12 (1991): 1105-1116.
  2. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7): 3372B-3373B, 1978.

Decreased Hostility

  1. Criminal Justice and Behavior 5 (1978): 3-20.
  2. Criminal Justice and Behavior 6 (1979): 13-21.

Improved Left Hemispheric Functioning--Improved Verbal and Analytical Thinking

  1. The Journal of Creative Behavior 13 (1979): 169-180.
  2. The Journal of Creative Behavior 19 (1985): 270-275.
  3. Perceptual and Motor Skills 62 (1986): 731-738.

Improved Right Hemispheric Functioning--Improved Synthetic and Holistic Thinking

  1. The Journal of Creative Behavior 13 (1979): 169-180.
  2. Journal of Clinical Psychology 42 (1986): 161-164.
  3. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 2 (1977): 407-415.

Increased Field Independence--Increased Resistance to Distraction and Social Pressure

  1. Perceptual and Motor Skills 39 (1974): 1031-1034.
  2. Perceptual and Motor Skills 65 (1987): 613-614.
  3. Perceptual and Motor Skills 59 (1984): 999-1000.
  4. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7) (1978): 3372B-3373B.

Reduced Anxiety

  1. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45 (1989) 957-974.
  2. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping: An International Journal 6 (1993) 245-262.
  3. Journal of Clinical Psychology 33 (1977) 1076-1078.
  4. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7) (1978): 3372B-3373B.
  5. Hospital & Community Psychiatry 26 (1975): 156-159.

Decreased Depression

  1. Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (1986): 212-215.
  2. Journal of Humanistic Psychology 16(3)(1976): 51-60.
  3. Gedrag: Tijdschrift voor Psychologie [Behavior: Journal of Psychology] 4 (1976): 206-218.

Improved School-Related Behavior

Reduction of Anger, Absenteeism, Disciplinary Infractions, and Suspensions

  1. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 23 (2001) S100.
  2. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1 (2003): 10.

Increased Tolerance

  1. The Journal of Psychology 99 (1978): 121-127.
  2. International Journal of the Addictions 26 (1991): 293-325.
  3. Dissertation Abstracts International 38(7) (1978): 3372B-3373B.

Reduced Substance Abuse

  1. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11 (1994) 1-524.
  2. Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 2 (1983) 28-33.
  3. The International Journal of the Addictions 12 (1977) 729-754.
  4. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 36 (2003): 127-160.
  5. American Journal of Psychiatry 132 (1975): 942-945.
  6. American Journal of Psychiatry 131 (1974): 60-63.

Accelerated Cognitive Development in Children

  1. Perceptual and Motor Skills 65 (1987): 613-614
  2. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17 (2005): 65-91.
  3. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17 (2005): 47-64.

Greater Interest in Academic Activities

  1. Western Psychologist 4 (1974): 104-111.

Improved Health

Physiological Rest

  1. American Physiologist 42 (1987) 879-881.
  2. Science 167 (1970) 1751-1754.
  3. American Journal of Physiology 221 (1971) 795-799.

Increased Muscle Relaxation

  1. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 35 (1973): 143-151.
  2. Psychopathométrié 4 (1978): 437-438.

Faster Reactions

  1. Personality and Individual Differences 12 (1991): 1106-1116.
  2. Perceptual and Motor Skills 38 (1974): 1263-1268.
  3. Perceptual and Motor Skills 46 (1978): 726.
  4. Motivation, Motor and Sensory Processes of the Brain, Progress in Brain Research 54 (1980): 447-453.
  5. L'Encéphale [The Brain] 10 (1984): 139-144.

Decreased Stress Hormone (Plasma Cortisol)

  1. Hormones and Behavior 10(1)(1978): 54-60.
  2. Journal of Biomedicine 1 (1980): 73-88.
  3. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 7 (1980): 75-76.
  4. Experientia 34 (1978): 618-619.

Increased Stability of the Autonomic Nervous System

  1. Psychosomatic Medicine 35 (1973): 341-349.
  2. Psychosomatic Medicine 44 (1982): 133-153.

Healthier Response to Stress

  1. Psychosomatic Medicine 35 (1973): 341-349.
  2. Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (1986): 212-215.
  3. Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1987): 212-213.
  4. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 33 (1989): 29-33.
  5. Psychosomatic Medicine 44 (1982): 133-153.
  6. International Journal of Neuroscience 46 (1989): 77-86.

Reduced Blood Pressure in Adolescents

  1. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 22 (2000) S133.
  2. American Journal of Hypertension (2004).

Decreased Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Subjects

  1. Hypertension 26 (1995): 820-827.
  2. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (1989): 950-964.

Decreased Insomnia

  1. The New Zealand Family Physician 9 (1982): 62-65.
  2. Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (1986): 212-215.
  3. Japanese Journal of Public Health 37 (1990): 729.

Healthier Family Life

  1. Psychological Reports 51 (1982): 887-890.
  2. Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (1986): 212-215

Lower Health Insurance Utilization Rates

  1. Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1987) 493-507.
  2. American Journal of Health Promotion 10 (1996) 208-216.

Improved Mind-Body Coordination

  1. Journal of Clinical Psychology 42 (1986) 161-164.
  2. Perceptual and Motor Skills 46 (1978) 726.
  3. Perceptual and Motor Skills 38 (1974) 1263-1268.
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