Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Cognitive Rigidity

Two experiments examined the relation between mindfulness practice and cognitive rigidity by using a variation of the Einstellung water jar task. Participants were required to use three hypothetical jars to obtain a specific amount of water. Initial problems were solvable by the same complex formula, but in later problems (“critical” or “trap” problems) solving was possible by an additional much simpler formula. A rigidity score was compiled through perseverance of the complex formula. In Experiment 1, experienced mindfulness meditators received significantly lower rigidity scores than non-meditators who had registered for their first meditation retreat. Similar results were obtained in randomized controlled Experiment 2 comparing non-meditators who underwent an eight meeting mindfulness program with a waiting list group. The authors conclude that mindfulness meditation reduces cognitive rigidity via the tendency to be “blinded” by experience. Results are discussed in light of the benefits of mindfulness practice regarding a reduced tendency to overlook novel and adaptive ways of responding due to past experience, both in and out of the clinical setting.


Demonstrated using tests with "traps" that can only be overcome with novel thinking.

Folksonomies: meditation cognitive rigidity

/science/mathematics/geometry (0.502434)
/family and parenting/babies and toddlers/baby food (0.500046)
/religion and spirituality/buddhism (0.342466)

cognitive rigidity (0.991848 (negative:-0.426746)), Cognitive Rigidity Demonstrated (0.866959 (neutral:0.000000)), mindfulness meditation (0.755255 (negative:-0.433942)), significantly lower rigidity (0.753447 (neutral:0.000000)), mindfulness practice (0.752654 (positive:0.259052)), meeting mindfulness program (0.720322 (positive:0.391670)), mindfulness meditators (0.627223 (neutral:0.000000)), complex formula (0.625669 (positive:0.271771)), rigidity score (0.623414 (positive:0.479881)), water jar task (0.606732 (negative:-0.419550)), randomized controlled Experiment (0.596340 (positive:0.391670)), waiting list group (0.575682 (positive:0.391670)), simpler formula (0.498848 (positive:0.278398)), hypothetical jars (0.486593 (neutral:0.000000)), novel thinking (0.473508 (negative:-0.422774)), Initial problems (0.459167 (negative:-0.208110)), later problems (0.454436 (neutral:0.000000)), adaptive ways (0.450596 (positive:0.678601)), clinical setting (0.446247 (positive:0.454044)), meditation retreat (0.445251 (neutral:0.000000)), Similar results (0.444330 (positive:0.391670)), past experience (0.442723 (positive:0.678601)), tendency (0.374303 (positive:0.244659)), non-meditators (0.344481 (positive:0.391670)), perseverance (0.342553 (positive:0.479881)), traps (0.338392 (neutral:0.000000)), variation (0.333811 (negative:-0.419550)), trap (0.331431 (negative:-0.485116)), relation (0.330832 (negative:-0.419550)), tests (0.329958 (neutral:0.000000))

Einstellung:City (0.839043 (negative:-0.419550))

Meditation (0.979924): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Experiment (0.747423): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Empiricism (0.712797): dbpedia | freebase
Buddhist meditation (0.597781): dbpedia | freebase
Problem solving (0.565348): dbpedia | freebase
Mind-body interventions (0.563990): dbpedia
Complexity (0.550056): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Science (0.519560): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 "Mind the Trap": Mindfulness Practice Reduces Cognitive Rigidity
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Greenberg, Reiner, Meiran , "Mind the Trap": Mindfulness Practice Reduces Cognitive Rigidity, PLoS ONE, Retrieved on 2012-06-26
  • Source Material [www.plosone.org]
  • Folksonomies: meditation


    17 APR 2011

     Science and Meditation

    Empirical evidence concerning meditation.
    Folksonomies: science meditation
    Folksonomies: science meditation
    23 MAR 2013

     Mental Discipline

    Memes on mental discipline, from fictional characters to scientific virtues.