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Silva Mind Control and Academic Performance in Higher Education This research was done to measure the effect of the Silva Method in the learning process; intelligence quotient, and personality factors amongst university students. Autonomous University of Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala Mexico 1986 Lilia Alcira Vacca with the collaboration of: Jorge Mario Medina and Edmundo Sanchez Collazos Translation by Martha C. Saldana
Foreword In November 1983, the then president of the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala, Moises Barseinas, requested that the Silva Miethod basic lecture series be given to the deans of the different schools. On that occasion, the director of the Silva Method in Mexico, Rosa A. Rivas, taught the course. Some time after that, the newly appointed president of the University, Hector Ortiz who had participated in the above mentioned course, requested a second one to be given to all faculty members and to certain people in the administrative department. The instructor this time being Jorge Mario Medina, of the Silva Method - Mexico. As a result of the experience obtained in both courses, Mr. Ortiz requested the Silva Method course for the students of the University in general, considering it an important contribution to the improvement of their academic performance. For this reason, an agreement was signed between the Silva Method-Mexico and the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala whereby in exchange for a free basic course to the students, the University would conduct a research study on its effects on the student population and would grant the Silva Method the corresponding publishing rights. In my position as coordinator of the Psycho-pedagogy Department of the University, it was my task to conduct such research. Consequently, I had to be prepared to become an instructor of the Silva Method in order to teach the Silva Method course to the students. My training lasted a year, and immediately afterwards the research study was conducted. Preliminary Information The purpose of the research study was to demonstrate whether the Silva Method method contributes to the improvement of academic performance. Hypothesis: The adequate practice of Silva Method techniques modifies positively the psychological and mental factors which determine academic achievement. Dependent variables: The scale points 1, 2, 3, 4,  6, 7, 8, 9, and 0 of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI); as well as the intelligence quotient (IQ) resulting from the B-II-R intelligence test.Independent variables: In all cases, the actual putting into practice of the Silva Method techniques. Design of the Research Study The experimental design is of the pretest-posttest type, with a control group. The students were assigned to the groups at random.A follow-up, not of an experimental nature, is included and the corresponding details are presented in the following pages. The paradigm of the experimental design is the following: Subjects Students from 1st to 9th semester in the Schools of: Engineering, Law, Education, Business Administration, Farming and Animal Husbandry, Foreign Languages, Specialized Education, and Nursing which is the only one considered of technical level. The research subjects total 400 students, of which 200 are in the experimental group and 200 in the control group. The age of the population is between 15 and 39 years in the control group, and between 15 and 30 years in the experimental group. The composition of the groups is the following: 302 women, of which 134 are in the control group and 168 in the experimental group, and 98 men, of which 66 are in the control group and 32 in the experimental group. The higher number of women in the population is due to the fact that the research study started when the nursing school courses began, and this is a field where women predominate. There are 6 desertions in the control group, and 19 in the experimental group. Obtention of Data Interviews-     Evaluation questionnaire-     Surveys-     Psychometric tests          a.     Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) b.     Intelligence test (B-II-R) c.     Primary Mental Skills (Thurston) Implementation An introductory lecture was programmed in each school, in order to motivate people and explain the conditions under which the study was going to be conducted. Some time after that, the first tests were administered to the experimental and control groups. Having done this, the Silva Method course was taught to the experimental group. The said course consists of four phases (101, 202, 303, 404), with a total duration of 48 hours of actual teaching. When the course was over, an evaluation questionnaire was passed on to the students. Once the questionnaire with a personal evaluation of the course was returned, the students in the experimental group were required to answer the second round of tests (not on the same date). After some time, in one of the subsequent weekly meetings, the survey took place. The control group also answered the tests on two different occasions. Follow-up A weekly meeting was organized for the students in the experimental group. Here, they had the opportunity to share their achievements, experiences with programming, doubts, and projects. lectures were given in connection to the latter. These meetings contributed to maintain a high level of motivation and incentive among the students. During the follow-up period, the students that had presented symptoms of social disadjustment improved noticeably. With the participation of a physician, a weekly support therapy was given to those students considered as intoxication cases. During the 4 months that the follow-up lasted, only one student relapsed. The students used Silva Method techniques 3 times a day, finding the one for Habit Control most helpful. Besides, their interest in making the most out of the techniques and in acquiring positive habits was such, that they repeated the whole Silva Method course on 3 different occasions. There was another group of students that requested special help for solving academic problems related to personal insecurity, difficulty to speak in public, little concentration, and deficient retentive faculty. For them, the weekly meeting was designed more like a workshop to do their programming. The survey revealed that the techniques the subjects considered to be most useful were: Relaxation and mental housecleaning, Memory Pegs, Mirror of the Mind, THE Three Fingers Technique, Laboratory and Counselors. Both in the surveys and in the interviews the subjects stated they had improved in the following aspects: Interpersonal and social relationships. Interest in their academic achievement and university life. There was an increased participation in academic activities. They became more goal oriented. Higher motivation for self-improvement. Love for life itself. Increased affection in family relationships. Faster and more confident decision-making. Broader perspective for solving problems. Physical fitness. Overcoming defeatist frames of mind. Increases peace of mind. Results 1. Percentages The total of cases in the experimental group who answered the MMPI, is 181. In the control group, the number of students who answered the same test was 188. In 78.5 percent  of the experimental group s pretest, scale points corresponding to pathological diagnosis were found. For the control group, this same mark was of  67.5 percent. These two measures can be considered as equivalent. After the Silva Method course, in the MMPI posttest, the percentage of subjects in the experimental group with pathological scale points was 27 percent,  while for the control group the figure was 55 percent.  This means that of all the cases with pathological scale points in the experimental group, 65.5 percent of them showed improvement in the second testing (posttest); and in the control group the figure for this same item was of 20 percent. For measuring the IQ, the B-II-R intelligence test was used. The experimental group consisted of 180 subjects, and the control group of 204. Of the total of cases in the experimental group, 67.7 percent of them improved the classification of their IQ, 31 percent of them maintained the same level, and 6 percent lowered it. In the control group, 6.4 percent modified their IQ favorably, 86 percent maintained their classification, and 6.9 percent lowered it. 2. Statistical treatment of data For the statistical treatment of the different results obtained in this research, different tests were used according to the types of psychometric scales, the experiment s design, and the distribution of the samples.In the case of the MMPI, the tests that were used were the Students  "T" tests for measuring the differences between pre and post tests in both groups. The "Z" grading test (revised Students  "T"), and Fisher s "Z" scale points test were used to measure the significance of the differences between the two groups in both pre and post tests. Parametric tests were used, since the MMPI scale is intervallic. To measure the significance of the changes in the intelligence test B-II-R, and in Thurston s mental skill test, the test of marked ranks and equalized pairs of Wilcoxon was used for the experimental and control group alike. And finally, to evaluate the differences between the two groups in the tests of intelligence and mental skills, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test of two independent samples was used. These are non parametric tests, and they are used because, on the one hand, the scale of the B-II-R is of the nominal type and, on the other, since the test for measuring mental skills has not been standardized in Mexico, a regular distribution of its scale points cannot be expected.3. Conclusions from the statistics The result of the statistical treatment of data shows that the experimental and control groups in the MMPI pretest are statistically the same, at least in 6 of the 9 scales that are considered (1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 0). In the posttest, there are significant differences in the scales 1 (0.05), and 2 and 7 (0.01). The scales 3 and 8 show noticeable phase. However, the said difference can be graded as “better” in the posttest stage. Scales 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 0 show significant changes (to 0.001) between pre and post tests in the experimental group. The Kolmogors between the experimental and control groups in the pretest. Therefore, the two groups are statistically the same before the experimental treatment (the Silva Method course). Using the same statistical test, the experimental and the control group showed significant differences in the posttest. with Goodman s equivalence formula with x     2 (square chi) the change is to 0.001. For the experimental group, in the pretest, the IQ was 75.845, while in the posttest it was 91.162. In the case of the control group, the pretest mean was 77.793, and the posttest 80.984. The Wilcoxon test was used to evaluate the significance of these changes (N.B.: this test does not use means). It was found that the difference in scale points of the IQ in the experimental group between pre and post test is a significant 0.01, while in the control group the change wasn t as significant. For the statistical treatmentof data in the mental skills test, the same tests that were used with the B-II-R were applied here: Kolmogorov-Smirnov for the differences between groups, and Wilcoxon for changes within a group. In the pretest phase there are no differences between the experimental and the control groups. They are statistically the same. In theposttest, there are significant differences to 0.001 between the two groups; the experimental group being the highest. Within the experimental group the changes were significant to a 0.001, while the changes in the control group were not significant. MMPI Scale                Pretest Posttest Group: Mean: Mean: Experimental 59.969 52.2232      Experimental 65.66 56.0463      Experimental 57.7044 56.3784      Experimental 62.124 55.8256      Experimental 59.196 55.1627      Experimental 60.301 60.5778      Experimental 69.251 58.6989      Experimental 60.024 60.1900      Experimental 54.334 43.5051      Control 58.276 53.9682      Control 64.234 62.7443      Control 56.521 55.8294      Control 60.617 57.3726      Control 56.787 54.0217      Control 59.234 52.1598      Control 66.787 60.0319      Control 59.393 58.6480      Control 53.063 45.138 Total pairs with sign + or - in the Wilcoxon test in the experimental group: 172. Total pairs of data with sign + =  164 Total pairs of data with sign - =    8 Total pairs with sign + or - in the same test in the control group = 169 Total pairs of data with sign + =  109 Total pairs of data with sign - =   60 Maximum difference found between the experimental and the control groups in the pretest with the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test = 0.096 (absolute value) Maximum difference found in the posttest with the above mentioned test = 0.3281 (absolute value). c. Thurston Total pairs with sign + or - (Wilcoxon) in the experimental group = 185. Total pairs of data with sign + =  162 Total pairs of data with sign - =   23 Total pairs with sign + or - in the same test in the control group = 203 Total pairs of data with sign + =  142 Total pairs of data with sign - =   61 Maximum difference found between the experimental and the control groups in the pretest (Kolmogorov-Smirnov)= 0.087 (absolute value). Maximum difference found in the posttest with the above mentioned test = 0.2525 (absolute value). General Conclusions The statistical results obtained in the MMPI lead us to conclude that Silva Method had a significant effect on students, along the following personality traits: 1. Sociability and communication: Noticeable increase of interest and affection towards others. (Scales 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, and 0). 2. Confidence on personal skills: Enthusiasm and desire to improve performance. (Scales 1, 3, 4, and 9). 3. Impulsiveness: Channeling to concrete objectives and goals. (Scales 4, 8, and 0). 4. Decrease in destructive aggressiveness: Increased socialization.(Scales 4,8,and 0). 5. Self-acceptance: Improved self-image, less sensitive to criticism. (Scales 2 and 4). 6. Positive attitude. (Scale 8) 7. Self-reliance and development of creativity. (Scales 2, 9, and 0) 8. Concept and acceptance of authority. (Scales 4 and 0). On the other hand, graphs and results related to B-II-R indicate that 67.7 percent of the subjects improved their IQ classification. In view of the above, the diagnostic evaluation of the MMPI scales and the scale points of the B-II-R (IQ), it can be concluded that the practice of the Silva Method techniques has a favorable effect on the increase of the intellectual capacity, as well as on certain personality traits which, in combination with the IQ, are decisive factors in the academic performance. Therefore, it can be stated that the practice of the Silva Method techniques contributes to the improvement of academic performance. And for this reason, the hypothesis of this study is validated. Through the interviews, surveys and questionnaires in the follow-up stage, I personally had a most positive experience: I discovered beyond the difficulties, problems, vices and limitations of the students, the wonderful reality of the human being. I was surrounded by young men and women with a strong will to grow as individuals, to free themselves from harmful habits, to program short, intermediate and long- term goals, in order to climb with happiness and perseverance the ascent leading to self-improvement. I was the fortunate witness of a transformation process that revealed itself through a smiling face, positive vocabulary, sustained effort in daily programming, and re-discovery of fundamental values which change, from within, the perspective on life. Finally, it is a well-known fact that, unfortunately, there are negative, pathological, aspects in the average campus life all over the world that do have an effect on academic achievement; to the point that it is practically considered as natural to find certain types of behavior related to social maladjustment such as drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide attempts, etc. Consequently, in the present research, and particularly in the follow-up stage, the aforementioned situations were found. A special treatment was given to students in such conditions, emphasizing the practice of the Silva Method techniques (especially habit control). Fortunately, all of these cases could overcome their problem; and in the follow-up phase only one of them relapsed. From my perspective, and as result of my work with young people, the Silva Method could and should be taught to students in all academic levels in every country, in order to contribute to the betterment of humanity. Acknowledgements I wish to thank the Silva Method for their generosity and willingness to be of service to others. My gratitude to Rosa A. Rivas for her determination to help young people everywhere, for her unconditional support in the different stages of this research, and her will to share the benefits of the Silva Method with college students. Her vision opened the doors to this project, and her perseverance led the way to its actual realization. I would also like to mention my appreciation to Hector T. Ortiz, president of the Autonomous University of Tlaxcala for his interest in sharing the valuable instrument the Silva Method is with the students of the University. And also to the following psychologists: Guadalupe Alvarez and Jorge Mario Medina for their punctual and accurate collaboration; and Edmundo Sanchez C. for his spontaneous, timely and efficient contribution with the statistical computation of this research study. To Maria Eugenia Cruz Gutierrez, Concepcion Rom...