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The Contribution of Proposed Field Effects of Consciousness to the Prevention of US Accidental Fatalities: Theory and Empirical Tests

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This research tests the hypothesis that practice of a subjective procedure, the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) and TMSidhi programme®,2 by a group of a theoretically predicted size would be sufficient to increase conscious alertness in the larger population, as measured by reduced rates of motor vehicle fatalities and fatalities due to other accidents. Monthly data for 2002-2010 from a prospective quasi-experiment was analysed using intervention analysis to test for decreased trends in accident rates during the intervention period 2007-2010. Controlling for pre-intervention trends, seasonality, and autocorrelation, significant shifts in trend, at the predicted time and in the predicted direction, were evident in both series. These trend shifts indicated an average annual decline of 5.24% in motor vehicle fatalities controlling for vehicle miles travelled, and 3.38% in other accidental fatalities. The mechanism for these collective effects, apparently independent of behavioural interaction, is discussed in light of possible alternative hypotheses.

Keywords: TM-Sidhi programme; accidental fatality prevention; consciousness and collective behaviour; intervention analysis; motor vehicle fatality prevention; time series regression models

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, 1000 North Fourth St., Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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