Gordon (no date) has studied authoritarianism and dogmatism with respect to type of work environment preferred, and found that dogmatic individuals tend to be ”accepting of and acquiescent to authority, who prefer to have specific rules and guidelines to follow, who prefer impersonalized work relationships, and who seek the security of organization and in-group identification.”

Rokeach describes differences in levels of open-mindedness as ”personality differences in receptivity to new information" (1968, p.144). Receptivity to new information is crucial to the progress of scientific knowledge. From the time of the ancient Greeks, Socrates "the bugbear of Athena" urged his fellow men to attack their assumptions and  use their own faculties to seek the "Good'—-the highest truth.

Desiderius Erasmus “the Voltaire of the 16th century”, though ordained a priest, disdained the dogma and fanaticism present in the Catholic faith at his time. He wrote "...the whole world has firmly set its heart against using its God-given brain" (1511). His satires on the superstitions presenting the church of Rome led in part to the German Reformation, carried on by Martin Luther who further challenged the infallibility of the pope.

Michel de Montaigne‘s philosophical approach was expressed in his famous Essays by his questioning ”what do I really know?"  He balanced contradictory views believing that all ideas contain elements of truth, and that all knowledge is relative. He was an antidogmatist, and firm believer in the spirit of free inquiry.


The qualities of open-mindedness are fundamental to the expansion of consciousness necessary for both scientific and philosophical thought. Immanuel Kant wrote that he was aroused from “dogmatic slumber“ upon reading the works of David Hume, a staunch skeptic and empiricist philosopher. 

One of the greatest scientists of our times, Albert Einstein admonished his students to “...take the business of science progress into your own hands; insist on thinking Your own thoughts even if contrary to the crowd.  Challenge the presumed orthodoxy of ideas? (Holton, p.163).

Gordon Allport, in The Nature of Prejudice (1959, p.8) states that "On the average, church-goers and professedly religious people have considerably more prejudice than do non-church goers and non-believers" towards racial, ethnic, and other religious groups. Allport refers to this tendency as a "central disposition" in his study of individual personality.

Quinn (1963) found differences in open—mindedness between students at different religious high schools, Catholics being higher in dogmatism than Jews and Protestants. Geckler (1965) found that in 10th grade students, Baptists, and members of the Church of God were higher in dogmatism than Episcopalians, for instance. Level of dogmatism seems to vary with denomination.

From time to time newspaper and magazine articles have accused practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program to be involved in a ”religious cult.'  Proponents of the TM program retort that TM is not a religion. Campbell(1974) writes "Transcendental meditation, though taught individually, does not depend on devotion to a master any more than on assent


dogma", and that followers of any religion may practice the TM program without compromising their faith. A consideration of this paper will be to determine if students practicing the TM program at MIU tend to be dogmatic or not. This paper, of course will not deal with-the issue of whether or not the TM program is a religion. But even if it is, perhaps this study will help determine if practitioners of the TM program are blind followers or, as the Vedic literature puts it, “discerning worshippers.”

Rokeach's work has focused on the relationship between what we know, and how we know it--how we acquire that knowledge.  He has analyzed different belief systems among a wide variety I of political and religious groups.  Blankenship (1968) has studied the relationship between open and closed—mindedness, and capacity for independent thought and action: "

The more closed--minded an individual, the more difficult it should be to distinguish between information received about the world, and information received about the source (of the information). Conversely, the more open-minded an individual, the better should be the ability to receive and analyze information objectively and act upon the information independently, and on its own merits.

This summarizes many of the research findings of Rokeach.  In constructing the Rokeach Adult Dogmatism Scale, Rokeach and his research assistants "scrutinized the various defining characteristics of open and closed systems. We then tried to construct statements designed to tap these characteristics" (1960, p.72). A copy of the RADS Form E is found in the Appendix of this paper.


Rokeach performed a study with Mezel (1966) which found that congruity of beliefs is a greater unifier among people than other factors, such as racial, or cultural similarity.  This study showed that whites preferred to be with black people of similar beliefs, than with whites of dissimilar beliefs. Jamias and Troldahl (1965) studied the innovativeness of high and low open-minded groups, and found that the more open—minded groups, regardless of race and culture, had a high adoption rate of new ideas, while high dogmatic behavior was manifested by compliance or identification with social norms.

Dogmatism has been found to correlate with neurotic anxiety by Hanson and Clune (1973). and Cohen and Harris (1972).  In a study of 86 primary school children, Cohen and Harris found a correlation of r=.52 p<.001) between neurotic anxiety and dogmatism. Here again the level of  dogmatism in TM practitioners should prove interesting as they tend to be lower than norms in anxiety and neuroticism.

Regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation program has been found to reduce anxiety (Nidich et al., 1972: Hjelle, 1974; Penner et al., 1974; Davies, 1974;  Shapiro, 1974; Stern, 1974; Ferguson and Gowan, 1976; and others). Ross (1972), Ferguson and Cowan, and Shapiro found reduced neuroticism in individuals practicing the TM technique. 

Level of anxiety with respect to classroom performance has been studied to a great extent.Williams (1971) found


significant improvement in tolerance for ambiguity (as measured by Budner's Intolerance for Ambiguity Scale) and open-mindedness (using the RADS) in an experimental group of undergraduate educational psychology students engaging in a cross-cultural simulation game. These activities seem to be those which emphasize an expansion of awareness to see other viewpoints.

Expansion of consciousness and improved ability to see others' viewpoints are predicted effects of regular practice of the TM program, as the nervous system is relieved of the effects of stress. Along with this flexibility of awareness seems to come improved stability and tolerance towards the constantly changing situations one encounters. So it will be interesting to note whether improvements in open-mindedness (using the RADS) are found in MIU students.

Statement of hypotheses

1. Seniors will significantly outperform  freshmen in critical thinking.
2. There will be no significant difference between MIU freshmen and freshmen norms in critical thinking ability.
3. MIU seniors will outperform senior norms in critical thinking.
4. Subtests of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal will significantly correlate with the total score.
5. Seniors will outperform freshmen in open·mindedness.
6. There will be no significant difference between MIU freshmen and freshmen norms in open-mindedness.
7. MIU seniors will outperform senior norms in open-mindedness.
8. There will be a significant positive correlation between critical thinking ability and open-mindedness.
9. Seniors will outperform freshmen in EEG coherence.
10. There will be a significant correlation between EEG coherence and critical thinking ability.
11. There will be a slight correlation between EEG coherence and open-mindedness.
12. There will be a positive correlation between most EEG coherence measures.
13. There will be no difference between males and females in critical thinking ability.
1U. There will be no difference between males and females in open-mindedness.
15. There will be no difference between males and females on the EEG coherence measures.

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