Institute of Noetic Science's Transformation Study of ITP Practitioners

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In this audio recording, Cassandra Vieten, from The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), shares her deep knowledge of the scientific study of spirituality and transformative practices. Learn more about the exciting results of IONS’ study of ITP and other relevant findings to inspire you in your personal evolution. 

From IONS' executive summary:

This report contains the findings of a longitudinal pilot study that examined the associations between engagement in Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) and measures of physical, psychological, and spiritual health and well-being amongst its participations. This exploratory study was conducted in the 2006-2007 year by the Institute of Noetic Sciences and made possible with support of the Fetzer Institute, private donors, and the participation of 53 individuals engaged in ITP. Rather than determining efficacy in comparison to an active control, this pilot project sought to establish the promise of the program, and to develop appropriate measures, sample size estimates, and meditational hypotheses for future randomized-controlled trials.

An additional goal of the study was to develop a working-protocol, survey instrument that can be utilized in evaluating the effectiveness of many different kinds of transformative practice programs. Toward that end, this pilot study we selected measures of constructs that our previous research has shown are common to the process of transformation, regardless of what practice or tradition is being studied, as well as selecting constructs that are specific to the program being studied. The intent was to develop an evaluation procedure that includes a core set of measures relevant to any program, while leaving room for a tailoring process that will make the instrument useful for measuring the goals identified by many transformative programs. Many of the questions focused on spiritual transformation were influenced by preliminary studies conducted at the Institute of Noetic Sciences that studied the transformative process.

Through collaboration with consultants and leaders from the ITP program, an online survey instrument with various measures was created and tailored specifically for data collection from 53 participants at three time points over the course of a year during their involvement in the community-based Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) program.

Repeated measures analyses showed that participants reported a significant improvement in overall health and reduced symptoms of ill health, as well as increased psychological well-being, vitality, and quality of life over the course of the year. Additionally, greater involvement in the practice community predicted better psychological well-being, increased quality of life, and greater self-transcendence. It was also found that the degree of reported self-transcendence meditated the relationship between level of engagement in ITP and psychological well-being. Self-transcendence also predicted physical health, and further analysis revealed that this relationship was mediated by psychological well-being.

These results suggest that engaging in Integral Transformative Practice holds promise for achieving greater health and well-being. Self-transcendence may be one key pathway toward enhancing psychological well-being, in turn leading to improved physical wellness.

This detailed report provides extended analysis and detailed presentation of findings that augment the manuscript we have written and submitted for publication (Appendix A).

Read the full report