Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training
Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training: A Longitudinal Study of Psychosocial Effects is a non-fiction psychology book on Large Group Awareness Training, published in 1990 by Springer-Verlag. The book was co-authored by psychologists Jeffrey D. Fisher, Roxane Cohen Silver, Jack M. Chinsky, Barry Goff, and Yechiel Klar. The book was based on a psychological study of "The Forum", a course at the time run by Werner Erhard and Associates. Results of the study were published in two articles in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1989 and 1990. Fisher and co-authors gave initial context for the study, providing analysis and discussion of academic literature in psychology regarding Large Group Awareness Training.
The psychologists analyzed whether Large Group Awareness Training could be classified as psychotherapy, and attempted to determine whether these techniques are harmful, beneficial, or produce no effects to an individual's mental health. Participants included individuals that took part in a 1985 program of "The Forum" in the Northeastern United States. They were told they were participating in a "Quality of Life" study, and were instructed to fill out surveys about their experiences at time intervals prior to and after the program's completion. The sample size included 83 participants in the program, as well as an additional 52 sample groups of individuals that did not participate in "The Forum". The psychologists concluded that the Large Group Awareness Training program did not have lasting positive or negative effects on self-perception.
The study reported in Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training was well received by the authors' peers; and garnered recognition from the American Psychological Association with its 1989 "National Psychological Consultants to Management Award". Ethics in Psychology: Professional Standards and Cases characterized the study as, "One of the few careful attempts to study Erhard's techniques in a rigorous fashion". The Group in Society, published in 2009, characterized the authors' research as "the most rigorous independent study to date" of Large Group Awareness Training. The psychologists' research has been referenced in a 2005 study on Large Group Awareness Training published by the British Psychological Society, and a 2010 article in Nova Religio published by University of California Press.
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