Wahbeh, H., Yount, G., Vieten, C., Radin, D., & Delorme, A. (2021). Exploring Personal Development Workshops’ Effect on Well-being and Interconnectedness. 09 March 2021, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square. doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-301757/v1
Introduction: Personal development workshops are increasingly popular. This study evaluated the relationships between measures of well-being, interconnectedness, and extended perception in a variety of these workshops, and it explored which kinds of workshops and individual characteristics predicted changes in these outcomes.
Materials and Methods: In a prospective, uncontrolled, within-participant design study, adult participants completed questionnaires and online tasks before and after personal development workshops. Two sets of analyses were completed, 1) examining the relationships between measures using only pre-workshop measures using Spearman correlations and 2) exploring change scores pre- to post-workshop and workshop and individual characteristics as predictors of those change scores using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and multivariate nonparametric methods.
Results: The subjective sense of interconnectedness and well-being were intercorrelated, but extended perception task performance was not correlated with those factors. General personal development workshops improved subjective interconnectedness, well-being, positive emotion, compassion, and reduced sleep disturbances, negative emotion, and pain. The workshop formats of lecture, small groups, pairs, and discussion were significant predictors of well-being outcomes. The workshop content categories of meditation and technology tools were also predictive of well-being outcomes, with meditation being the most consistent predictor of positive well-being changes. Conscientiousness was the only significant individual characteristic predictor, although it was associated with increases in some well-being measures and decreases in others.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the positive relationship between the subjective sense of interconnectedness and multiple well-being measures and the beneficial effects of personal development workshops.