Self-Actualization And The Human Potential Group Process In A Community College
Durschmidt, Barbara Hagans
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The problem under investigation was to determine whether individuals moved significantly toward self-actualization after attending Human Potential Seminars at a community college. Pretests and posttests were collected for 38 experimental subjects and 63 control subjects from Shostrum's Personal Orientation Inventory. All subjects were students enrolled at Iowa Central Community College during the fall term, 1974-75. Experimental groups consisted of four Human Potential Seminars, and controls were members of three separate English classes. A nonrandomized control group design was utilized. Analysis of covariance was used to compensate for the possibility of nonequivalence on the pretest between the experimental and control groups. A series of univariate tests were applied to test the hypothesis. The independent variable was participation or nonparticipation in a Human Potential course, Psychology 8:135. Pretest scores were the covariates or control variables, and posttest scores were the dependent or criterion variables. In addition to testing for overall significance between groups, analysis of variance and t-tests were made to test for effects within groups. Experimentals and controls were broken down into the following subgroups to test for significant differences: sex (male and female), status (new and returning), curriculum (arts-science and vocational-technical), residence (home, dormitory, and other), and class (four Human Potential groups and three English classes). Analysis of covariance disclosed that the systematic variation between experimentals and controls reflected in posttest scores adjusted for covariance was statistically significant for only one scale, Self Acceptance, which measures the ability to affirm or accept oneself in spite of weakness or deficiencies. The Human Potential Seminars were not found to have a statistically significant positive overall effect on the self-actualization of the participants. Trueblood and McHolland developed the Human Potential group process with the express purpose and goal of assisting persons to gain a more positive self-image. The significant results on the Self Acceptance Scale showed that the Human Potential Seminars have a specific positive effect on participants.
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