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December 1977

Reactions of Transcendental Meditators and Nonmeditators to Stress Films: A Cognitive Study

Author Affiliations

From the Langley Porter Institute, University of California, San Francisco. Dr Kanas is now with the Department of Mental Health, Wilford Hall US Air Force Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Dr Horowitz is now with the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(12):1431-1436. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770240057004

• To experimentally test the claimed stress-reducing effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM), two stress films were shown to a group of 60 meditators and nonmeditators. Stress response was observed through the use of cognitive and affective measures employing content analysis techniques and selfratings. The meditators did not show less stress response than the nonmeditators. On several self-rating scales, a group of subjects who had signed up to be initiated into TM rated themselves significantly more stressed and emotionally distressed than either a control group or meditators. There was a trend for meditators who meditated during the experiment to show less stress response to the films than meditators who were told not to meditate; however, this difference was significant on only one measure, a subjective stress scale.

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