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Nonverbal intelligence increases in Cambodian university students practising Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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17 August 2013
In the early days of Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia, researchers conducted several studies to test the effectiveness of teaching Transcendental Meditation to students. They wanted to see if practising the stress-reducing technique would impact the students' educational experience.
Dr Lee Fergusson, one of the founding rectors of the university, described a longitudinal study that looked at the impact of Transcendental Meditation on intelligence. The study, he said, was published in Higher Education Research and Development (15: 73-82, 1995) and is also reprinted in Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme: Collected Papers, Volume 6.
The study looked at nonverbal intelligence and growth of intelligence as a result of the Maharishi Vedic University curriculum, which incorporated Transcendental Meditation. It compared Maharishi Vedic University students' growth of intelligence with the experiences of randomly selected students from another university in Phnom Penh.
In order to measure intelligence, researchers used a culture fair intelligence test—an intelligence test that is not culturally biased, based instead on nonverbal visual intelligence.
The study found that in students at the other university, one focused on economics and science, average intelligence over a three-month period actually declined somewhat, from a reading of 14 to 12.
Dr Fergusson added that this decline in intelligence in university students is not uncommon, and has been seen in many such studies around the world.
In contrast, the Maharishi Vedic University students' intelligence levels increased from 11 up to 15. Another group of Maharishi Vedic University students were tested as a post-test control, and their level of intelligence at the end of this testing period was the same as that of their peers.
'That finding indicated that a Vedic Science-based educational curriculum increased nonverbal intelligence in Cambodian college students,' Dr Fergusson said.
See related articles:
∙ Study finds positive effects of Transcendental Meditation on education in Cambodia
∙ Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: New book gives history of education
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