Stepping out of history: Mindfulness improves insight problem solving

Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):1031-1036 (2012)
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Abstract

Insight problem solving is hindered by automated verbal–conceptual processes. Because mindfulness meditation training aims at “nonconceptual awareness” which involves a reduced influence of habitual verbal–conceptual processes on the interpretation of ongoing experience, mindfulness may facilitate insight problem solving. This hypothesis was examined across two studies . Participants in both studies completed a measure of trait mindfulness and a series of insight and noninsight problems. Further, participants in Study 2 completed measures of positive affect and a mindfulness or control training. The results indicated that trait mindfulness predicts better insight but not noninsight problem solving , this relation is maintained when controlling for positive affect , mindfulness training improves insight but not noninsight problem solving and this improvement is partially mediated by state mindfulness . These findings are the first to document a direct relation between mindfulness and creativity

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