Research: FEHR, Clinisch Psychologi

Listed in Issue 19


FEHR, Clinisch Psychologische Praxis, Wesel Germany studied the effects of personality upon the success of beginners in maintaining their practice of Transcendal Meditation (TM).



The author conducted two longitudinal studies, administering the Freiburger Personality Inventory to TM beginners. Participants were monitored at 8 weeks (study 1) and 14 months (study 2).


Compared to dropout-controls with 7 of 12 FPI-factors, meditators in study 2 demonstrated significantly greater improvements after 14 months. Compared to successful meditators, controls showed significantly greater extraversion prior to starting TM. Compared to the norm, significantly reduced openness was found at the time of the second testing in study 1 and in 47% of the participants in a cross section study with 360 TM-practitioners (study 3). The uncritically reserved TM-practitioners in study 3 described themselves as remarkably positive, but no effects correlated with length of practice were distinguished in this group. Also in study 3, several groups of participants, including open meditators and several selected subgroups demonstrated different focal points of generally constructive hypothetical effects resulting from long-term TM practice.


According to these studies there needs to be a sufficiently self-critical and open attitude in order to meditate successfully. People scoring clearly above average in extraversion should be discouraged from starting TM because they are likely to abondon the TM routine early.


Fehr TG. Therapeutically relevant effects by transcendental meditation? Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 46(50): 178-88 May 1996.

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