Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 18 April 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00116

Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking

  • Institute for Psychological Research and Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands

The practice of meditation has seen a tremendous increase in the western world since the 60s. Scientific interest in meditation has also significantly grown in the past years; however, so far, it has neglected the idea that different type of meditations may drive specific cognitive-control states. In this study we investigate the possible impact of meditation based on focused-attention (FA) and meditation based on open-monitoring (OM) on creativity tasks tapping into convergent and divergent thinking. We show that FA meditation and OM meditation exert specific effect on creativity. First, OM meditation induces a control state that promotes divergent thinking, a style of thinking that allows many new ideas of being generated. Second, FA meditation does not sustain convergent thinking, the process of generating one possible solution to a particular problem. We suggest that the enhancement of positive mood induced by meditating has boosted the effect in the first case and counteracted in the second case.

Keywords: meditation, creativity, divergent thinking, convergent thinking, open-monitoring, focused-attention

Citation: Colzato LS, Ozturk A and Hommel B (2012) Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking. Front. Psychology 3:116. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00116

Received: 27 January 2012; Accepted: 30 March 2012;
Published online: 18 April 2012.

Edited by:

Anna M. Borghi, University of Bologna, Rome, Italy

Reviewed by:

Anna M Borghi, University of Bologna, Rome, Italy
Thomas Kleinsorge, Leibniz Research Centre for working environment and Human Factors, Germany

Copyright: © 2012 Colzato, Ozturk and Hommel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Lorenza S. Colzato, Cognitive Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, Netherlands. e-mail: colzato@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

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