Otis. L.S. (1984). Adverse Effects of Transcendental Meditation, in D. Shapiro and R. Walsh (eds.), Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (New York: Alden). [Texte complet]
Otis (1984) described a study done at Stanford Research Institute in 1971 to determine the negative effects of Transcendental Meditation. SRI mailed a survey to every twentieth person on the Students International Meditation Society (TM's parent organization) mailing list of 40,000 individuals. Approximately 47% of the 1,900 people surveyed responded. The survey included a self-concept word list (the Descriptive Personality List) and a checklist of physical and behavioral symptoms (the Physical and Behavioral Inventory). It was found that dropouts reported fewer complaints than experienced meditators, to a statistically significant degree. Furthermore, adverse effects were positively correlated with the length of time in meditation. Long-term meditators reported the following percentages of adverse effects: antisocial behavior, 13.5%; anxiety, 9.0%; confusion, 7.2%; depression, 8.1%; emotional stability, 4.5%; frustration, 9.0%; physical and mental tension, 8.1%; procrastination, 7.2%; restlessness, 9.0%; suspiciousness, 6.3%; tolerance of others, 4.5%; and withdrawal, 7.2%. The author concluded that the longer a person stays in TM and the more committed a person becomes to TM as a way of life, the greater is the likelihood that he or she will experience adverse effects. This contrasts sharply with the promotional statements of the various TM organizations.