The Monroe Institute

RESEARCH

Program Benefits Study 1

Cam Danielson, MA
The Mesa Group
Spring 2008



A summary of this Phase 1 study was originally published in The Journal as, "The Benefits of Long-Term Participation in TMI Programs." Subsequently, Phase 2 of the study was completed. See Phase 2 of the study online. Download a PDF of Phase I of the study.

Cam Danielson is a partner at MESA Research Group. His work focuses on assisting leaders and management teams to revision future direction and opportunity amid the turbulence of personal, organizational, and societal change. His research has appeared in the Academy of Management Executive, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Business Horizons, and the American Benedictine Review. He has designed or conducted executive development programs for companies such as 3M, AT&T, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Crédit Agricole, Dow Chemical, EDS, ExxonMobil, Ingersoll-Rand, Lucent Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Manitowoc, NASA, The Nature Conservancy, Philips Electronics, Prudential (London), Rolls-Royce, Saudi Aramco, Shell International (London), Sara Lee, SUEZ, Whirlpool, and Xerox. Cam’s background includes twenty years of leading the office of executive education at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He also was a speechwriter for the president of Indiana University and a member of the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Cam received a BA in classical studies from the University of Kansas and a medieval studies certificate and an MA in English literature from Indiana University. He is an alumnus of The Monroe Institute’s GATEWAY VOYAGE®, GUIDELINES®, LIFELINE™, and EXPLORATION 27® programs (1994 through 2006). Cam attended both the VOYAGE and GUIDELINES twice. He also participated in the American Center for International Leadership U.S.-USSR Exchange Program (1985).

Report of Findings:

Phase I of a Study on the Effects of Long-Term Participation in The Monroe Institute Programs June 20, 2008

Introduction

The Monroe Institute (TMI), through its patented sound technology, has demonstrated changes in focused states of consciousness for thousands of individuals over the last 30 years. While ongoing research at the Institute on the nature of different states of consciousness is yielding rich insights into human development, a continuing challenge for the leadership of TMI is to understand how repeated exposure to Hemi-Sync® technology in controlled workshop environments affects the quality of individual lives. Does it have any bearing on the degree of self-efficacy, life satisfaction, job satisfaction, and career performance? In other words, does repeated exposure to TMI programs increase the capacity of the participants to deal with the demands of their lives in terms of doing meaningful work, developing and supporting mutually rewarding relationships, and in acquiring skills and attitudes that provoke continual growth and development? A second challenge for the long-term benefit of the Institute is to attract participation in graduate level programs. While the workshops are well structured and the experience of participants during these workshops well documented, the percentage of individuals involved with TMI over 3 or more years remains fairly low. The current data suggests there is a 30 month window from the time individuals first hear of TMI to the time their interest in the Institute wanes. In that time individuals will often participate in 1-3 programs. After that time, participation dwindles significantly. Why is that? Clearly, the benefits of additional programs, once individuals have satisfied some intrinsic need that brought them to the Institute to begin with, are not well understood nor promoted as part of the Institute’s mission. To address these challenges, a study was proposed to look at the long-term effects of participation in TMI programs. An online survey was developed on the following dimensions:

  • Demographics (6 items) – gender, age, education, income, race
  • Psychographics (19 items) – job status & transition, family status & transition, number of programs attended, personal objectives for attendance, support or resistance to attendance from family members and/or friends, continuing contact with TMI alumni and facilitators, memorable moments from the program(s), etc.
  • Program Effects (37 items) – decision making effectiveness, outlook on life, interaction with others, job & career satisfaction, stress management, alignment of actions with personal values, work-life balance, ongoing personal development, etc. Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter (optional – 70 items) – assessing personality characteristics

The study looked at 2 groups of individuals:

  • Those who have attended only the Gateway Program (the entry level program)
  • Those who have attended 3 or more programs

The online survey was distributed to each group via a letter of invitation from the President of TMI. The response was over 700 for both populations. However this number was further reduced in the statistical analysis when controlling for variables relevant to the goals of the study due to incomplete survey responses. The population for this study was taken from the TMI database, which was automated in 2000. Participants were all found in the automated version which means they had taken at least one program since 2000. Those with attendance at 3 or more programs included programs dating back to the late 1970s.

Organization of the Findings

Given the number of responses and the number and types of questions in the survey, there is a wealth of data that has not been fully mined. The principle objective in this report is to address the primary question of long-term effects both statistically and qualitatively. The findings are divided into 4 sections:

  • Section 1 - Comparison of responses for selected items within the demographic and psychographics section and the results of an independent analysis of the data
  • Section 2 - Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter (KBTS) results compared with a national norm base and the results of an independent analysis of the data
  • Section 3 – Factor and regression analysis of the program effects data controlled for the variables identified in the demographic and KBTS results together with a comparison of responses for selected items
  • Section 4 - Qualitative review of comments to an open-ended item describing the most memorable experience at TMI and concluding comments

To jump to the punch line, there is statistically significant evidence suggesting clear differences in terms of self-efficacy and life satisfaction between the Gateway Only and the Multiple Program groups. This is further corroborated by a comparison of comments from respondents about their experiences at TMI where the quality and frequency of references to life changes are significantly different for those having attended 3 or more programs. One qualification regarding the data; for those in the group designated Multiple Program respondents, the assumption that 3 programs is the cut-off for the majority of respondents is not accurate. In fact, based on those who did respond to the question of how many programs they have attended, more than 75% had attended “4 or more programs.” That is significant in terms of program effects, however, it is difficult to determine what, if any, difference is a result of having attending 3 or 4 or even how many respondents had attended more than 4 programs. This is an area for future research. Section 1 – Demographic & Psychographics Analysis Given that the database only includes participants who have attended a TMI program since the year 2000 there are no Gateway Only participants prior to that year in the database. It isn’t the same story for respondents who have attended Multiple Programs. While they have had to attend a program since 2000 to be in the database, many have program experience dating much earlier which would be one reason why there is a higher percentage in the 56-60 and 61-70 age bracket.

Age Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
21 – 25 0 3.07
26 – 30 1.92 3.83
31 – 35 4.21 4.98
36- 40 5.75 9.2
41-45 7.66 10.34
46-50 16.48 16.09
­51-55 23.37 23.75
56-60 19.92 15.71
61-70 15.71 9.96
70+ 4.98 3.07

A characteristic of the Multiple Program respondents is their higher degree of curiosity and desire for self-knowledge. This is evident in their reasons for attending TMI illustrated in the table below. From among the list of choices, respondents were instructed to indicate all that applied to them. The two choices that clearly indicated a difference between the 2 groups were “curiosity” and “understanding myself better” (together with “learn new skills” which was marginally higher).

“My reasons for attending TMI were”:

Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
Curiosity

65.48

56.2

Understanding myself better

63.1

53.3

Solve a problem or issue in my life

16.07

17.94

Rejuvenation and renewal

27.68

26.91

Recommendation from another

22.62

26.91

Learn new skills

51.79

47.23

Part of a professional development plan

7.14

5.01

Part of a personal development plan

41.67

39.31

Other

24.4

21.11

Further to the point of distinction between the 2 populations, it is not surprising to see a higher percentage of Multiple Program respondents have advanced degrees. The 12% difference for Masters, Doctoral, and Professional degrees is statistically significant.

Education

Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents

Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents

Less than high school

0

0.77

High School/ GED

3.08

6.51

Some College

13.85

14.18

2 – Year Degree (Associates)

6.15

9.58

Bachelor Degree

28.85

31.03

Masters Degree

25.38

23.37

Doctoral Degree

13.08

7.28

Professional Degree (MD, JD)

9.62

7.28

With a slightly higher proportion of respondents in the 56 – 70 age range and a higher proportion of advanced and professional degree holders it is also no surprise to find a higher percentage of Multiple Program respondents earning $70,000 +. The 12.6% difference is statistically significant.

Income Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
< $30,000 15.33 21.46
$30K – 49,999 14.18 20.31
$50K – 69,999 17.24 17.62
$70K – 99,999 24.9 18.39
$100K – 149,999 11.88 12.26
$150K – 199,999 6.9 3.83
$200K - $300,000 3.83 2.68
More than $300,000 5.75 3.45

Once again, given the higher percentage of respondents in the 61-70 and 71+ age categories it is no surprise to find that a statistically significantly higher percentage of Multiple Program respondents are retired. Nonetheless, the percentage still in the workforce is quite comparable between the 2 groups. Of interest is the statistically significant high unemployment rate in the Gateway Only respondents. A contributing factor could be the higher percentage of younger people in this group. To speculate, a higher percentage of participants could have been students and in the absence of such a category chose to indicate that they were unemployed. This is an area for further research in the future.

Employment Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
Unemployed 1.57 11.24
Self-Employed 47.45 44.57
Employed 35.29 34.88
Retired 15.69 9.3

One final focus of analysis is the civil status of the participants. Given the high percentage of respondents who are married the difference between the two groups is not statistically significant. However, given the smaller percentage of respondents who are single the difference between the two groups is statistically significant. The same is marginally true for the percentage of respondents who are widowed. However, there is not a statistically significant difference between the total percentage of respondents who are separated, divorced, or widowed. Nonetheless, Multiple Program respondents have a statistically significant larger percentage that have been separated, divorced or widowed 6 years or longer (see the second table below).

Civil Status Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
Single 17.05 21.24
Married 54.65 51.74
Separated 3.1 4.25
Divorced 20.93 20.46
Widowed 4.26 2.32
If Separated, Divorced, or Widowed, for How Long? Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents
< 1 Year 2.56 4.57
1–2 Years 3.59 4.11
3-5 Years 7.18 12.79
6-10 Years 13.33 10.5
> 10 years 30.26 24.2

The few key differences noted above were also verified by an independent statistical analysis of all responses:

Characteristic Difference
Gender N.S.
Age S younger
Employment S more unemployed M more retired
Education M more educated
Individual Income M higher
Partner Income N.S.
Marital status S significantly more single M marginally more widowed
Time married / cohabitating N.S.
Time divorced / widowed M more years divorced or separated
Race S has more Hispanic
Key: S = Single Program Sample; M = Multiple Program Sample; N.S. = no significant difference

With these differences noted, some general comments can be made about the target audience for TMI from a combined profile of both groups. Individuals who come to TMI are as likely to be a man as a woman, they are slightly more likely to be married as single/separated/divorced/widowed, slightly more than 65% will be between the ages of 41 and 60 (with the largest single percentage between the ages of 51 & 55), 69% will hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, 79.5% will be employed (with 35% self-employed), 72% will be earning less than $100,000 per year, and nearly 90% will be white Caucasian. Though this is not a market study, I can offer some observations based on the general profile of both groups. In my judgment it is no coincidence that the largest percentage of TMI program participants comes from the 41-60 age groups. These are the age groups that have made it past mid-life and now look beyond the short-term goals that have defined their life - meeting the requirements of a job or career, taking care of a family, and building a position or role in a community. While scanning ahead is always a part of life, it isn’t until a certain foundation has been laid, either in terms of personal success or failure, that a change in perspective emerges and new questions arise from a vantage point that did not exist in one’s 20s or even 30s. It is as if we have received a call that opens us to, what Joseph Campbell described as, “the mystery of transfiguration - a rite, or moment, of spiritual passage, which, when complete, amounts to a dying and a birth. The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand” (51). The new questions cannot be answered as easily or with sufficient confidence through traditional sources and so starts the process of widening a circle of inquiry that eventually leads to contact with places like TMI. This is especially true for those who can afford to come to TMI and why I would venture to guess 42% of the Gateway Only group makes less that $50,000 – TMI is an extraordinary gift for the price. That said, TMI also attracts a higher proportion of those earning more than $100,000, based on 2005 census data. The 27.4% and 22.2% for the Multiple Program and Gateway Only groups, respectively, is significant relative to the national norm of 15.8%. For these individuals, who have more discretionary income, TMI could offer a wider array of services, but that is a subject for further research.

Section 2 – Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter Analysis

The Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter (KBTS) is one of several instruments used to measure personality type preference. Modeled after the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter provides a framework for determining predispositions toward favored or natural tendencies in human behavior. Both instruments seek to determine how people consciously prefer to attend to the world, how they choose to perceive that to which they attend, and how judgments are made about those perceptions. The KBTS dimensions are based on four bipolar scales, Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving that are measured by a series of 10-20 responses. The questions are structured as either/or statements to a wide range of human situations to determine personal preferences. A sample of the types of questions is listed below: 1. Are visionaries

(a) somewhat annoying (b) rather fascinating

2. Are you more comfortable with work that is

(a) contracted (b) done on a casual basis

3. In relationships should most things be

(a) renegotiable (b) random and circumstantial

The typology scales are comprised of 8 dimensions, which combine to create one of sixteen different personality typologies: 1. The EI Scale – The focus of attention

  • Extraversion – People who prefer extraversion tend to get their energy from others and this is where they tend to direct their energy. They need to experience the world in order to understand it and thus tend to like action.
  • Introversion – People who prefer introversion tend to get their energy from their inner world and this is where they tend to direct their energy. They like to understand the world before experiencing it and so often think about what they are doing before acting.

2. The SN Scale – The means of acquiring information

  • Sensing – For these individuals their senses are the means for figuring out what is actually happening inside and outside of themselves. Sensing types tend to accept and work with what is “given” in the here-and-now.
  • Intuition – For these individuals there is meaning that goes beyond the information from the senses. Intuition looks at the big picture and tries to grasp the essential patterns.

3. The TF Scale – How decisions are made

  • Thinking – These individuals like to consider the logical consequences of any particular choice or action before making decisions. People with a preference for thinking seek an objective standard of truth.
  • Feeling – These individuals begin with what feels important to themselves or others and make decisions on the basis of person-centered values. When making a decision for themselves, they ask how much they care. Those with a preference for feeling like dealing with people and tend to become sympathetic, appreciative, and tactful.

4. The JP Scale – The orientation toward the outer world

  • Judgment – Those who take a judging attitude (either thinking or feeling) tend to live in a planned, orderly way, wanting to regulate life and control it. People with a preference for judging like to be structured and organized and want things settled.
  • Perception – Those who prefer a perceptive process when dealing with the outer world (either sensing or intuiting) likes to live in a flexible, spontaneous way. People with a preference for perceiving seek to understand life rather than control it.

The assignment of types is determined by the summation of the responses consistent with the poles of the respective dimensions. For example, an E score of 8 (out of 10) indicates a moderately high extravert whereas a score of 2 indicates a moderately high introvert. Note that the other three dimensions are based on 20 points. Two points are worth stressing about the KBTS data. First, this was an optional section of the survey meant as much as an enticement for respondents to take the survey as for gathering personality typology data. A self-scoring mechanism was included with the survey for those wanting to calculate their KBTS typology. As a consequence of this optional feature there were 112 respondents who did not complete the KBTS. Second, the scale used for determining preferences on each of the 4 dimensions is an even number. The possibility exists, therefore, that respondents could fall in the middle of the scale where assignment of a specific tendency or preference becomes ambiguous. There were 164 respondents with one or more dimensions of their typology which were unassignable. This left 418 respondents whose personality typology was assigned (208 for the Gateway Only respondents and 210 for the Multiple Program respondents); still a robust sample size. Overall, the two groups are similar in terms of personality on a per dimension basis. The Multiple Program group is marginally higher on extraversion. Below is a table illustrating the distribution of personality typology by global norms and for each of the populations in the study.

TYPE INDICATOR GLOBAL NORMS GATEWAY ONLY MULTIPLE PROGRAMS

ESTJ

10% 3.4% 4.3%
ENTJ 3% 8.2% 8.1%
ISTP 2% - 0.5%
INTP 3% 3.4% 1.4%
ESFJ 12% 2.4% 2.4%
ENFJ 8% 18.3% 18.6%
ISFP 3%

-

-
INFP 7% 9.1% 7.6%
ESTP 3% - -
ESFP 5% - 1.0%
ISTJ 10% 7.2% 2.9%
ISFJ 10% 1.9% 3.8%
ENTP 2% 2.9% 2.9%
ENFP 8% 24.5% 26.7%
INTJ 6% 6.7% 10.5%
INFJ 8% 12.0% 9.5%
       
Sample Size 4,586,300 208 210
       

Dominant Function

     
S 28% 9.1% 7.7%
N 24% 46.1% 49.5%
T 18% 15% 14.3%
F 30% 29.8% 28.5%

Auxiliary Function

     
S 27% 5.8% 7.2%
N 21% 39% 35.7%
T 21% 16.8% 16.3%
F 31% 38.4% 40.8%

Source of Energy

     
E 51% 59.7% 64%
I 49% 40.3% 36%
       
Number of Inconclusive Type Indicator   87 7
Dominant Function in the table above describes the “favorite” process allocated by type (see Table 1 in the appendix). This indicates whether the favorite preference is a perception or judgment function (sensing/intuition vs. thinking/feeling). The Auxiliary Function is the secondary preference. In personality typology language, both are needed for dealing effectively with the world. One takes the lead – a perception function (sensing or intuiting) or a judgment function (thinking or feeling) – and the other balances this orientation. Extraverts tend to direct their dominant function towards the external world and use their auxiliary function dealing with their internal world. Introverts tend to direct their dominant function towards their internal world and use their auxiliary function dealing with the external world.

TMI graduates as a group are primarily different from the global norm in terms of how they like to acquire information. They strongly depend on intuition as the means of discovery and meaning-making, both as their favorite and auxiliary function. One consequence of this orientation is the value placed on imagination and inspiration, which means that TMI graduates tend to be more idealistic and less tolerant of the “way things are.” To reference Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality, TMI graduates strongly gravitate towards Dynamic Quality, “the pre-intellectual cutting edge of reality, the source of all things, completely simple and always new” (133). Further, given their higher extraversion as a group than the general population this intolerance is more often directed to the outside world. The resulting friction is the impetus for what Carl Jung described as the transcendent function, “a tension charged with energy that creates a movement out of the suspension between opposites, a living birth that leads to a new level of being” (298). TMI graduates have a predilection for transformational growth – the radical, vertical leaps in being as opposed to the less risky, more pragmatic, horizontal extensions of being. A challenge of this orientation is finding effective means for managing the tension between what is and what could be. To look too closely for too long at the limitations in “the way things are”, particularly when tolerance is low to begin with, can create bruised sensitivities, alienation, and despair (symptoms made famous by the Romantic poets). In effect, why would people with this orientation find much to be happy about? It is a question to be returned to in the conclusion.

Section 3 – Program Effects Analysis

Program effects were measured in terms of life satisfaction, job/career satisfaction, quality of life, and overall well-being. A factor analysis of the items in this section of the survey was undertaken to group questions together into subscales based on common response patterns. The analysis determined there were 4 factors which demonstrated better loading patterns than 3 factor or 5 factor solutions. The 4 factors and their accompanying items are: 1. Personal efficacy

  • I am a more effective decision maker
  • I have a more expansive vision of how the parts of my life relate to a whole
  • I am more able to surface issues that others are reluctant to talk about
  • I am more actively involved in my own personal development
  • I have a clear sense of further development I need to accomplish
  • I am more composed under pressure
  • I take actions that are more true to my sense of self
  • I have more balance among my work, my family, and my community
  • I am more able to listen nondefensively to criticism
  • I am able to handle stress more effectivel
  • I act on my values more consistently
  • I have interest in new things
  • I have a more open communication with my family
  • I am more productive at work
  • I have developed new friends
  • I have been able to resolve an important issue or challenge in my life
  • I am more confident in my interaction with others
  • I have a clear sense of purpose in my life

2. Life satisfaction

  • The conditions of my life are excellent
  • I am satisfied with my life
  • So far I have gotten the important things in my life
  • In most ways, my life is close to ideal

3. Job satisfaction

  • Most days I am enthusiastic about my work
  • I like my job better than the average worker does
  • I find real enjoyment in my work
  • I am fairly well satisfied with my present job

4. Career Performance

  • At work I am viewed by my supervisor as an exceptional performer
  • Compared to other people my age and who are involved in the same occupation or types of work I do, I feel that I am very successful
  • The people I work with would say that I am very successful
  • I feel that my career is progressing very well compared with my peers

Three items from the survey were eliminated either because they cross-load on 2 different factors or have a loading less than .05. Scale scores were generated averaging the responses, which loaded highest on each factor. Each subscale demonstrated high internal reliability (note: alphas greater than 0.7 indicate reliable measures): 1. Personal efficacy – alpha = 0.95 2. Life satisfaction – alpha = 0.9 3. Job satisfaction – alpha = 0.91 4. Career Performance – alpha = 0.83 Zero order correlations with the demographic and personality typology (KBTS) variables were computed with the 4 factors. Table 2 in the appendix shows the correlations in addition to the total sample available for each variable, the means, and the standard deviations. Regression analysis determined the effect of attendance in multiple TMI programs on the derived factors controlling for demographic and personality typology variables. Since the 4 factors highly correlated with each other, multivariate regression (which controls for the factors’ common variance) was used. Two models were developed due to the fact that the KBTS was optional and there were significant differences between participants who completed these questions in the survey and those who did not. Model 1 (Table 3 in the appendix) excludes personality data and Model 2 (Table 4 in the appendix) includes it. Overall, the results suggest that individuals who have attended multiple TMI programs experience statistically greater personal efficacy and life satisfaction than those who only attend the Gateway program. Although increased attendance in TMI programs appears to be also associated with greater job satisfaction and career performance (see Table 3 in the appendix), these relationships become non-significant and marginally significant when personality typology is included in the model (see Table 4 in the appendix). Since extraversion highly relates with all four factors (see Table 4 in the appendix) and multiple session participants tend to be higher in extraversion, the relationship between TMI attendance and job satisfaction and career performance is not clear. It is interesting to note that on every one of the 34 items loaded on one of the 4 factors, the percentage of those indicating strongly agree was higher for those having attended 3 or more programs. To get into the details a bit more, I looked at those items loaded on personal efficacy and have listed those with the highest percentage difference between the two groups and those with the lowest percentage difference (see table below). To offer an observation, I would suggest that the majority of items with the highest percentage difference are closely aligned with the objectives of TMI programs whereas the items with the lowest percentage difference are not (to my knowledge) stated objectives of TMI’s educational mission. Therefore the areas with greatest evidence of long-term benefits are consistent with what would be expected. The 8 items with the highest difference are:

Question Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Difference
“I have a more expansive vision of how the parts of my life relate to a whole.” 61.30 25.29 36.01
“I am more actively involved in my own personal development.” 62.45 30.65 31.80
“I take actions that are more true to my sense of self.” 45.21 18.77≠ 26.44
“I have a clearer sense of purpose in my life.” 46.74 20.31 26.43
“I am less anxious about my future.” 44.06 18.77 25.29
“I am more clear about what is important to me.” 51.34 27.20 24.14
“I have been able to resolve an important issue or challenge in my life.” 32.57 11.88 20.69
“I act on my values more consistently.” 34.10 14.18 19.92

The 7 items with the lowest difference are:

Question Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Difference
“I have a more open communication with my family.” 18.01 8.43 9.58
“I am more productive at work.” 14.18 4.60 9.58
“I am more able to listen non-defensively to criticism." 21.07 11.11 9.96
“I have a clear sense of further development I need to accomplish.” 40.23 29.50 10.73
“I am more successful in my career.” 17.97 6.56 11.41
“I have more balance among my work, my family, and my community.” 22.61 11.11 11.50
“I have developed new friends.” 20.31 8.43 11.88

While those attending multiple programs claim to more strongly agree with the clarity of their sense of purpose and other quality of life dimensions, could it be merely a function of degree of agreement? Maybe those who have only attended the Gateway program are more likely to agree (rather than strongly agree) with these questions relative to those attending multiple programs? In fact it is the other way around; though the difference is small (the average percentage of agree response to each of the items under the factors of self-efficacy and life satisfaction was 40.84 of the Gateway Only Respondents and 42.14 of the Multiple Program Respondents). It is worth noting that those who have attended multiple programs are more likely than those who have only attended Gateway to both agree and strongly agree with the following items: 1. “I am a more effective decision maker.” 2. “I surface issues that others are reluctant to talk about.” 3. “I have a clear sense of further development I need to accomplish.” 4. “I have more balance among my work, my family, and my community.” 5. “I am more able to listen non-defensively to criticism.” 6. “I am more successful in my career.” 7. “I have deepened my relationship with existing friends.” 8. “I have a more open communication with my family.” 9. “I am more productive at work.” 10. “I have developed new friends.” 11. “I have been able to resolve an important issue or challenge in my life.” 12. “I am more confident in my interaction with others.” For the 12 items loaded on life satisfaction, job satisfaction, and career performance, the differences are not as dramatic between the 2 groups but the same trend exists. The 5 questions with the highest difference are:

Question Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Difference
“So far I have gotten the important things in my life.” 34.48 20.31 14.17
“The conditions of my life are excellent.” 33.72 20.69 13.03
“I am satisfied with my life.” 32.18 19.54 12.64
“I like my job better than the average worker does.” 36.76 25.79 10.97
“I find real enjoyment in my work.” 30.31 20.40 9.91

The 4 questions with the lowest difference are:

Question Percentage of Multiple Program Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Percentage of Gateway Only Respondents indicating Strongly Agree Difference
“At work I am viewed by my supervisor as an exceptional performer.” 29.84 25.00 4.84
“I feel that my career is progressing very well compared with my peers.” 20.00 14.46 5.54
“Most days I am enthusiastic about my work.” 23.92 15.75 8.17
“The people I work with would say that I am very successful.” 30.68 22.27 8.41

Across all 12 items the multiple program group averaged a higher percentage of agree responses than those from the Gateway only group. Again, the difference is small (40.89% of Gateway respondents on average agreed with these 12 items and 41.38% of multiple program respondents on average agreed). Those who have attended multiple programs are more likely than those who have only attended Gateway to both agree and strongly agree with the following questions: 1. “The conditions of my life are excellent.” 2. “At work, I am viewed by my supervisor as an exceptional performer.” 3. “Most days I am enthusiastic about my work.” 4. “Compared to other people my age and who are involved in the same occupation or types of work I do, I feel that I am very successful.” 5. “The people I work with would say that I am very successful.” 6. “I find real enjoyment in my work.” 7. “I feel that my career is progressing very well compared with my peers.” 8. “In most ways my life is close to ideal.”

Section 4 – Qualitative Analysis and Conclusions

In addition to scaled items, survey respondents were given the opportunity to address four open-ended items:

  • List 3-5 important events in your life, positive or negative, after your first program at TMI.
  • How would you describe TMI to someone who may be interested in attending for the first time?
  • How would you describe the kind of person who would get the most out of attending the Gateway Voyage program
  • What is most memorable in your experience at TMI?

In the interest of addressing the question of effects from long-term participation in TMI programs, I have chosen to focus my analysis on the last item. It isn’t to say the other items will not bear important fruit, but rather it is an area for future analysis. For the item addressing the most memorable experience at TMI, I created 4 categories of comments to organize the different kinds of responses:

  • Mystical Experience – reference to experiences of metanormal functioning
  • Personal Learning and Development – reference to lessons learned, insights generated, personal growth/healing
  • Belonging – reference to the value of or connection to others in the program
  • Gestalt – reference to the intangibles or indivisibility of the unique features of TMI

There were no restrictions in assignment of comments to categories, and therefore, individual responses could be represented in all 4 categories. The fact that a majority of comments were represented in more that one category is indicative of the length of responses.

Category Gateway Only Multiple Programs
Mystical Experience 107 135
Personal Learning & Development 126 116
TMI Programs |