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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2014 Sep;40(9):1092-1106. Epub 2014 May 23.

Specific Mindfulness Skills Differentially Predict Creative Performance.

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University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Past work has linked mindfulness to improved emotion regulation, interpersonal skills, and basic cognitive abilities, but is unclear about the relation between mindfulness and creativity. Studies examining effects of mindfulness on factors pertinent to creativity suggest a uniform and positive relation, whereas work on specific mindfulness skills suggests that mindfulness skills may differentially predict creativity. To test whether the relation between mindfulness and creativity is positive and uniform (the uniform hypothesis) or differentially depends on particular components of mindfulness (the differential hypothesis), we conducted four studies in which mindfulness skills were measured, extensively trained, or manipulated with a short, incidental meditation session. Results supported a differential relation between mindfulness and creativity: Only the ability to observe and attend to various stimuli consistently and positively predicted creativity. Results regarding other mindfulness skills were less consistent. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


creativity; flexibility; meditation; mindfulness


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