The first four statements of the Rokeach Adult Dogmatism i Scale are items involving the belief-disbelief dimension. This section measures the degree of isolation within and between belief and disbelief systems. "lsolation refers to the degree of segregation or lack of intercommunication between neighboring regions or subregions. It is assumed that the more closed the system, the greater the isolation between and within the belief and disbelief systems" (1960, p. 73). "Disbelief systems' refers to opposing viewpoints and schools of thought. Items in this section measure the accentuation of differences between the belief and disbelief systems, and the coexistence of contradictions within the belief system of a presumably dogmatic person.
The next thirteen statements on this no statement form seek to measure unverbalized, primitive beliefs. These are beliefs concerned with whether the world we live in is friendly or hostile, beliefs regarding the uncertainty of the future, self-inadequacy, moral self-righteousness, and paranoia. Rokeach determined that dogmatic individuals tend to feel more insecurity, and helplessness, which results in their needing to overcome such feelings by self-aggrandizing, and self-righteous identification with a cause, power, and status.
The next nineteen statements seek to
measure authoritarianism, and belief in the absolute truth
of a cause with
intolerance towards alternative views.
according to Rokeach would tend to be more hostile towards disbelievers and would seek to isolate themselves from them.
The last four statements are items
involving the time-perspective dimension. Rokeach assumes that
the more closed
the belief-disbelief system, the more its
future- or past-oriented, that is, the more
will be rejected as important in its own
Instruments: EEG brain wave phase coherence
To determine if physiological parameters exist for critical thinking ability and open-mindedness, EEG phase coherence measurements from four areas of the scalp were taken. The five EEG measurements were:
These five channels were measured using a
78D electroencephalograph and Polygraph
System. All students measured had their EEG
meditating in a sound-resistant room at the
EEG lab at
the International Center for Scientific
This study contains methodological drawbacks which severely limit valid generalizations to other student populations, and conclusions about the long-term effects of the Transcendental Meditation program or the MIU curriculum. The main limitations were those concerning research design, selection of subjects, and the possibility of experimenter bias.
The research design is essentially no more
than a one-shot case study, with no pretest before
entering the MIU
curriculum. History could then be a factor.
students took a critical thinking course
just prior to taking
the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking
in critical thinking ability and
open-mindedness could also
The subjects chosen for this study were not randomly selected, which limits generalizability of the results to the entire MIU population. Although the seniors who took the RADS were checked against a randomly selected group of seniors, this was not done for the freshmen who took the RADS, or for any students who took the WGCTA.
The norms for the WGCTA listed in the
manual are not
overly abundant and were compiled in 1964.
There is the possibility that the average student
naturally has higher
or lower critical thinking ability in 1981.
students used in the norms were actually below average in CT or OM
to begin with. This would make the MIU
The uniqueness of the MIU student population must be considered when making generalizations to students across the country. MIU is unique in that it attracts students who are inclined to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique, and who may be dissatisfied with more 'conventional' educational institutions. Previously, a student would have to already be more open-minded towards new methodologies to consider going to MIU. By being critical of the success of conventional universities, a student choosing MIU may also already be more independent, and critical in his thinking.
An obvious limitation of this study is the fact that the research was done by a graduate student at MIU (self) who is himself a practitioner of the TM program. This suggests that he is a devotee of Maharishi, and raises the question of experimenter bias. It is possible that he may have been attempting, either consciously or unconsciously, to make his university and the TM program ”look good".
There is also the chance of contamination, when the researcher's familiarity with the test subjects effects the outcome of the study. Although the MIU graduate students share many of the campus facilities and activities with the undergraduates tested, contamination is less likely when using standardized paper and pencil tests.
Future follow-up studies should be
undertaken to overcome
these drawbacks in design and procedure,
and to determine the
long-term effects of the MIU curriculum and the TM program.
Chapter IV: Results
The first hypothesis predicts that MIU seniors will significantly outperform freshmen in critical thinking ability. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the mean scores on the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal using a t-test for independent groups, and by computing a correlation coefficient between class at MIU and WGCTA scores.
The Watson-Glaser scores were significantly correlated with class (1=freshmen, 2=sophomores, 3=juniors, 4=seniors) with a coefficient of r= .41 using the no students who took all the tests, and .37 using those students who at least took the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. Using the group of no who took all the tests (the WGCTA, Rokeach Adult Dogmatism Scale, and the EEG phase coherence measurements), the correlations were significant between class and scores on the WGCTA subtests. The correlation between the Deduction subtest and class was .40, and between Evaluation of Arguments and class was .37.
The difference in mean scores between the freshmen and seniors at MIU was significant (t=4.95, df=85) as shown on Table 1. Thus the first hypothesis that MIU seniors would outperform MIU freshmen was accepted.