Field Effects of Consciousness and Reduction in U.S. Urban Murder Rates: Evaluation of a Prospective Quasi-Experiment
Creation of a sustainable society ideally should include promotion of an enhanced overall quality of life, including freedom from crime, violence, and other key indicators of social stress. This study is part of a comprehensive empirical evaluation of the results of a prospective four-year quasi-experiment that sought to reduce rates of homicide and violent crime as well as to improve other measures of the quality of life and public health in the United States. The current research tests the hypothesis that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) and TM-Sidhi® program by a group of theoretically predicted size would be sufficient to reduce collective stress in the larger population, as reflected in decreased rates of homicide in a sample of 206 large U.S. urban areas. Time series regression analysis of monthly data for 2002–2010 using a broken-trend intervention model found significant reductions in trend for the urban homicide rate during the 2007–2010 intervention period (p = 1 x 10–13). Controlling for pre-intervention trends, seasonality, and autocorrelation, the estimated total reduction in homicide rate was 28.4% (7.1% annually). The practical significance of these findings is also indicated by an estimated 4,136 murders averted by the reduced trend in murder rate during the intervention. Diagnostic tests are satisfactory and indicate that the results are unlikely due to “spurious regression.” The mechanism for these macro-social effects is discussed in the light of possible alternative hypotheses.
Kenneth L. Cavanaugh,
Michael C. Dillbeck,
Field Effects of Consciousness and Reduction in U.S. Urban Murder Rates: Evaluation of a Prospective Quasi-Experiment, Journal of Health and Environmental Research. Special Issue: Maharishi Vedic Science: Creating a Sustainable Future.
Vol. 3, No. 3-1,
2017, pp. 32-43.
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