Study 8: Improved quality of life in the U.S. State of Rhode Island through Yogic Flying
In this experiment it was publicly predicted up front that a significant effect would be created on the general quality of life in the whole of the State of Rhode Island in the U.S., a state with 750.000 inhabitants, in the summer of 1978 and the subsequent 2 years, in comparison to previous trends in the state and in comparison to the State of Delaware, that was chosen as a control as the demographic variables are very similar.
To rule out chance and alternative explanations it was predicted up front that several variables would all improve simultaneously: Crime, death, fatal car accidents, unemployment, pollution (air quality), alcohol consumption and cigarette consumption. They obtained their data from all relevant government departments. All these different variables were brought together in one statistic called the Quality of Life index.
When the project started, 300 Transcendental Meditation teachers that had also followed the TM Sidhi and Yogic Flying training were brought to the state. They practiced Yogic Flying together in order to immediately create an effect, while also teaching as many people as possible the TM technique (for free) in order to also create a long-term effect.
At the end of the project the scientists looked at the data, and found that a very significant improvement had occurred in the summer of 1978 as compared to the previous 5 years. In previous years the Quality of Life index fluctuated a lot, but the general trend was a continuous decrease (average -0,42). During the experimental period, the index jumped to +1,5 (p<.01) and over the subsequent two years remained at an average of +0,7. (p<.01). In the control State Delaware no improvement was reported (click on graph to enlarge it).
Just how significant the improvement was is demonstrated through a more thorough analysis of the individual variables, some that were predicted, but also some others that were studied later:
Suicides : dropped by 42% as compared to summer in the previous years, the biggest decrease for the 5 years researched.
Divorces: decreased by 7.7%, the biggest decrease for the 5 years studied.
Fatal car accidents: Increased by 18% annually over the previous 5 years, but decreased by 54% during the summer of ’78. The first decrease ever reported.
Murder: Continuously increased in the previous 5 years, but a decrease of 49% during the summer of ’78 in comparison to summer in the previous year.
Serious crime: Decreased by 22% compared to the previous year, the biggest decrease ever reported.
Car thefts: Lowest number of thefts ever reported for the July-August period, and biggest decrease ever reported
Beer and cigarette consumption: First decrease ever in the summer of ’78.
Total employment: reached a record level in the summer of ’78
Pollution (Carbon Monoxide and Ozone violation days): biggest decrease ever reported
Weather : The summer of 1978 was the sunniest summer in 30 years (warm weather is normally correlated to a crime increase).Ref.The Journal of Mind and Behavior 8: 67–104, 1987. Collected papers vol 4,321 pp. 2521-2531