Transcendental Meditation

Study on cognition

Three randomized experiments on the longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on cognition

Authors:  So, Kam-Tim; Orme-Johnson, David W.

Published:  Intelligence. Volume 29, Issue 5, September–October 2001, Pages 419–440.

Methods: Three studies on 362 high school students at three different schools in Taiwan tested the hypothesis that regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique for 15–20 min twice a day for 6 to 12 months would improve cognitive ability. The same seven variables were used in all studies: Test for Creative Thinking-Drawing Production (TCT-DP); Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI); Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT); State and Trait Anxiety (STAI); Inspection Time (IT); and Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT).

Results: Univariate testing showed that Transcendental Meditation practice produced significant effects on all variables compared to no-treatment controls (Ps ranged from .035 to <.0001). Napping for equivalent periods of time as Transcendental Meditation practice had no effect. Contemplation meditation improved inspection time and embedded figures, but not the other variables. The Transcendental Meditation technique was superior to contemplation meditation on five variables. The effect sizes for Transcendental Meditation practice were in the order of the variables listed above.

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