Massed vs. spaced experiences in personal growth groups
The purpose of this research was to compare the effects of massed or marathon group experiences upon personal growth with the effects of spaced group experiences upon personal growth, The between group comparison was tested in terms of fourteen null hypotheses pertaining to the fourteen subscales of the Personal Orientation Inventory. One additional null hypothesis pertained to the discrepancy between perceived actual self and perceived ideal self, as measured by the Interpersonal Check List.Subjects for the study were students in Educational Psychology classes at Ball State University. All of the subjects were volunteers who chose the experimental groups in lieu of other types of group experiences normally provided through their classes. The final samples, utilized in the analysis of the data, consisted of 92 students.All subjects used in the study were pre-tested, using the Personal Orientation Inventory and the Interpersonal Check List. One week following the pre-testing, 46 subjects, utilized in the final analysis of the data, entered group process under the direction of leaderless tapes. These 46 students experienced group process in five two-hour sessions with an interval of one week between sessions. Each student had perfect attendance, thus assuring equal group process time with the massed leaderless group. The other 46 subjects experienced massed leaderless tape group processing. They met under the direction of the same leaderless tapes, with the exception that all five sessions were combined into one marathon session of ten hours. For both massed and spaced group samples, individual group size ranged from six to eight subjects.Post-testing was administered immediately following termination of group process in both experimental groups. Again, the Personal Orientation Inventory and the Interpersonal Check List were given to the subjects. The pre- and posttest results were hand-scored and an analysis of covariance was utilized to test the fifteen null hypotheses. With the level of significance established at the .05 level, analysis of the data revealed that no significant difference existed between Groups on any of the subscales of the Personal Orientation Inventory or on discrepancy between perceived actual self and perceived ideal self, as measured by the Interpersonal Check List. All fifteen null hypotheses were accented. It was concluded that, using this group approach, the massing or spacing of process time makes no significant difference in terms of growth of subjects as measured by the criterion instruments. On the basis of the results of this study, ten recommendations, alone with their precipitating rationales, were offered.