Research: Travis and Durchholz

Listed in Issue 59

Abstract

Travis and Durchholz, Psychology Department, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557, USA. investigated whether an electronic device could improve mood and well-being, and decrease anxiety .

Background

Methodology

This study used a double-blind crossover design to investigate the effect of a small electronic device, the Quantum Companion, on mood, quality of life and anxiety levels. Thirty-four subjects were stratified on age, sex, and current stress levels and randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or a Quantum Companion, and then after a two week 'recovery period,' the other instrument. Standardized tests were administered before and after each two-week experimental period, along with an open-ended questionnaire of other life-events during the past two weeks.

Results

The two weeks with the placebo were marked by 1) more immediate positive and fewer immediate negative effects; 2) greater reductions in anxiety ; and 3) nonsignificant improvement in mood and quality of life, compared to the two-week Quantum Companion periods.

Conclusion

This study brings out the power of a placebo for changing mood, and the importance of using rigorous designs to test claims

References

Travis F and Durchholz C. Can an electronic device improve mood and well-being, and decrease anxiety? International Journal of Neuroscience 103(1-4): 91-9. Jul-Aug 2000.

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