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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 Roxane Cohen Silver, Jack M. Chinsky, Barry Goff, Yechiel Klar, and Jeffrey D. Fisher. At the time of the book's publication, all of the researchers were associated with the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, save Silver, a Ph.D. in the University's Program in Social Ecology[1].

Background Edit

The book was based on a psychological study of "The Forum", a course at the time run by Werner Erhard and Associates, the company that commissioned the study. The results of the research study itself had been previously published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1989, by Fisher, et al.[2], and in 1990 in the same journal by Klar, et al.[3]

The study was conducted under an agreement between Werner Erhard and Associates and the researchers, which gave the researchers independence in research methods. The agreement itself is attached as an appendix to the work, and states: "The Forum Sponsor agrees to arrange for all payments for costs related to expenses in the following manner. The only specific fixed cost delineated by this agreement was "..piloting experimental procedures and developing a full proposal for subsequent research..", which was USD$88,000[1].

Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training provides a historical analysis of the research published in academic journals and books prior to the publication of the study. Notable studies analyzed and put into a methodological context by Fisher et al. included those of Cinnamon[4], Rome[5], Brewer[6], Conway[7], Glass[8], Kirsch[9], Baer[10], Berger[11], Beit-Hallahmi[12], and Lieberman[13][14].

Methods Edit

The book analyzed whether Large Group Awareness Training could be classified as psychotherapy, and also attempted to determine if these techniques are harmful, beneficial, or produce no effects to an individual's mental health. Participants were told that the psychologists were studying the "Quality of Life" in North America. These participants included men and women that had attended Werner Erhard and Associates' "The Forum" seminar in 1985, in a large city in the northeastern United States[1]. Participants in the study were split into Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 was told to fill out a questionnaire both prior to and after completing their "Forum". Group 2 was told only to fill out the questionnaire after completing their Forum course[1].

Conclusions Edit

The researchers concluded that attending The Forum had minimal lasting effects, positive or negative, on participants' self-perception. However, the researchers did briefly go over potential negative and positive effects of attending The Forum. The researchers did not find any negative effects on the test subjects that participated in their study. In an analysis of the possible positive outcomes, the researchers found that subjects "became more internally oriented."[1]

The researchers found that subjects had some minor short-term positive effects perceived from the Large Group Awareness Training, but no noticeable longer term effects, stating: "In fact, with the exception of the short-term multivariate results for Perceived Control, there was no appreciable effect on any dimension which could reflect positive change."[1]

Award Edit

The research reported in Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training garnered the American Psychological Association's "National Psychological Consultants to Management Award", in 1989[1].

Referenced by other psychologists Edit

The book was referenced in a college-level psychology course, "Developmental Effects of Participation in a Large Group Awareness Training", at the University of Minnesota.[15] A 2005 study published by the British Psychological Society which analyzed the Landmark Forum course cited Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training for background on the Large Group Awareness Training phenomenon.[16]

External links Edit

  • Springer, Full citation of work, at official publisher's Web site.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Fisher, Jeffrey D.; Silver, Chinsky, Goff, Klar (1990). Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training, 142, Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0387973206 , ISBN 978-0387973203.
    Page. vii. -- "The research reported in this volume was awarded the American Psychological Association, Division 13, National Consultants to Management Award, August 13, 1989."
  2. Fisher, Jeffrey D., Silver, Chinsky, Goff, Klar, Zagieboylo (1989). Psychological effects of participation in a large group awareness training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 57: 747–755. ISSN 0022-006X.
  3. Klar, Yechiel, et al. (February 1990). Characteristics of Participants in a Large Group Awareness Training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 58 (1): 99–108. ISSN 0022-006X.
  4. Cinnamon, K.; D. Farson (1979). Cults and cons: The exploitation of the emotional growth consumer, Chicago: Nelson Hall.
  5. Rome, H.P.. Limits of the human mind. Psychiatric Annals 7 (11): 11–32.
  6. Brewer, M.. We're going to tear you down and put you back together.. Psychology Today: 35–40, 82, 88–89..
  7. Conway, Flo; Jim Siegelman (1979). Snapping, Philadelphia: Lippincott.
  8. Glass, L.L., M.A. Kirsch, F.N. Parris. Psychiatric disturbances associated with Erhard Seminars Training: I. A report of cases.. American Journal of Psychiatry 134: 245–247.
  9. Kirsch, M.A., L.L. Glass.. Psychiatric disturbances associated with Erhard Seminars Training: 2. Additional cases and theoretical considerations.. American Journal of Psychiatry. 134: 1254–1258.
  10. Baer, D.M., S.B. Stolz. A description of the Erhard Seminars Training (est) in the terms of behavioral analysis.. Behaviorism 6: 45–70.
  11. Berger, F.M.. Awareness groups and psychiatry.. Bioscience Communication 3: 89–98.
  12. Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. The psychotherapy subculture: Practice and ideology.. Social Science Information 26: 475–492.
  13. Lieberman, "Effects of Large Group Awareness Training on Participants' Psychiatric Status", American Journal of Psychiatry v 144 p 460-464, April 1987.
  14. Finkelstein, P., Wenegrat, B.; Yalom, I. (1982). Large Group Awareness Training. Annual Review of Psychology 33: 515–539. ISSN 0066-4308.
  15. Hughes, Steven J., "Developmental Effects of Participation in a Large Group Awareness Training", University of Minnesota, presented at "Educational, Instructional and School Psychology", Symposia: SY EDC (18) 4, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  16. Rubinstein, Gidi (2005). Characteristics of participants in the Forum, psychotherapy clients, and control participants: A comparative study. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 78 (4): 481–492. ISSN 1476-0835.

See alsoEdit

Template:Werner Erhard

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