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An experimental method for increasing self-observation and self-awareness

31 July 1983


This study explored a treatment condition which consisted of experiential activities coupled with an observation and summary process. This combined treatment condition was intended to help subjects increase their awareness of unconscious material and how it organized their behavior. Three main variables, anxiety, confusion and anger, were measured to assess the effect of the treatment condition. The subjects were 24 volunteers who were employed as managers or supervisors. They were matched and randomly assigned to either the treatment condition or to a control condition which consisted of a normal workday. The outcome was analyzed by pairing each of the three variables with a measure of physical self-efficacy and using an analysis of covariance by multiple regression. The results showed a significant effect on two of the variables. anxiety and confusion, but while anxiety was consistent with the predicted hypothesis and was lowered, confusion was the opposite of the predicted hypothesis and was increased. The study suggests this experiential treatment condition can be a viable approach to helping individuals gain insight into their behavior. At the same time, the outcome of the study raises questions about the relationship between anxiety and confusion and their interaction during the insight process.


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