Memory & Cognition

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 207–215 | Cite as

Meditation and flexibility of visual perception and verbal problem solving

  • Michael C. Dillbeck
Article

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on habitual patterns of visual perception and verbal problem solving. The study’s predictions were expressed in the context of Norman’s model, which suggests that meditation reduces conceptually driven processes. It was specifically hypothesized that the TM technique involves a reduction of habitual patterns of perceptual and conceptual activation, resulting in (1) more effective application of schemata to new information and (2) less distracting mental activity during performance. This was predicted to result in improved task performance on task conditions in which either (1) habitual patterns of performance hinder or do not aid performance or (2) habitual patterns aid performance. Subjects began the TM technique, relaxed, or added nothing to their daily schedule for 2-week periods. In addition to generalized effects of the interventions, the immediate effects of the TM technique, relaxation, and reading were compared on a letter perception task. The general hypothesis was supported for tasks of tachistoscopic identification of card and letter-sequence stimuli, but not for the verbal problem solving task of anagram solution.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Dillbeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMaharishi International UniversityFairfield

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