An Experimental Analysis of the Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Reaction Time

Abstract

The study was designed to investigate the influence of the Transcendental Meditation technique on simple reaction time and to compare the relative influence ofTranscendental Meditation and ordinary rest. Two groups of25 college-age subjects were individually tested four times on four days within a two-week period. Group I (meditctors) were tested with 100 trials both before and after a 20-minute session ofTranscendental Meditation (days 1 and 3) and also before and after 20 minutes of supine rest with eyes closed (days 2 and 4). Group II ( nonmeditators) were tested before and after a 20-minute period of sitting rest with eyes closed on days 1 and 3 and before and after an equal period of supine rest on days 2 and 4. Additionally, 53 teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique (Group Ill) were simply measured before and after one meditation. Results show an improvement in reaction time peiformance after meditation in Groups I and III (p < .001) and a lowered peiformance after supine rest (p < .001) in the Group I meditators. Nonmeditators showed no significant change in reaction time after either condition of ordinary rest. A comparison on pretest mean reaction time for Group I (meditators) and Group II ( nonmeditators) indicated that meditators as a group have faster reactions than nonmeditators (p < . 01). These findings were discussed in light of a current theory of arousal, activation, and peiformance.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{OrmeJohnson2006AnEA, title={An Experimental Analysis of the Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Reaction Time}, author={David W. Orme-Johnson}, year={2006} }