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Prior Meditation Practice Modulates Performance and Strategy Use in Convergent- and Divergent-Thinking Problems

13 July 2022 Editor's note: Readers are alerted that concerns have been raised regarding the methodology used in this article. Further editorial action will be taken as appropriate once the investigation into the concerns is complete and all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.

Abstract

Scientific interest in meditation has significantly grown in the past years; however, so far, science has neglected the idea that different types of meditations may drive specific cognitive-control states. It has been shown that focused-attention (FA) and open-monitoring (OM) meditation exert specific effect on creativity; OM meditation induces a control state that promotes divergent thinking, a style of thinking that allows many new ideas to be generated, while FA meditation tends to support convergent thinking, the process of generating one possible solution to a particular problem. In the present study, by using creativity tasks tapping into convergent (compound Remote Associates Task; cRAT) and divergent thinking (Alternate Uses Task; AUT), we investigated whether this effect was modulated by prior meditation experience, by comparing a group of practitioners (n = 20) and a group of novices (n = 20). The enhancing effect of OM meditation on divergent thinking was found to be robust irrespective of prior experience. However, while solving convergent-thinking problems, practitioners used an insight strategy, as opposed to an analytical approach, significantly more often than the novices.

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  • 13 July 2022

    Editor's note: Readers are alerted that concerns have been raised regarding the methodology used in this article. Further editorial action will be taken as appropriate once the investigation into the concerns is complete and all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.

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Acknowledgments

The research of L.S. Colzato is supported by a Vidi grant (#452-12-001) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

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Correspondence to Lorenza S. Colzato.

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Colzato, L.S., Szapora, A., Lippelt, D. et al. Prior Meditation Practice Modulates Performance and Strategy Use in Convergent- and Divergent-Thinking Problems. Mindfulness 8, 10–16 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0352-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0352-9

Keywords

  • Open monitoring
  • Focused attention
  • Creativity
  • Convergent thinking
  • Divergent thinking