Research: Travis and Durchholz

Listed in Issue 59


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 .



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.


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.


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


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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