Effects of Transcendental Meditation versus resting on physiological and subjective arousal

David S. Holmes, Sheldon Solomon, Bruce M. Cappo, Jeffrey L. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

On 4 successive days, 10 highly trained and experienced meditators (aged 26-54 yrs) were asked to relax for 5 min, meditate for 20 min, and then relax for 5 min. In contrast, 10 other Ss (aged 22-32 yrs) who had no training or experience with meditation were asked to relax for 5 min, rest for 20 min, and then relax for 5 min. Physiological arousal (heart and respiration rates, skin resistance, and blood pressure) and subjective arousal (cognitive, somatic, and relaxation) were measured throughout the experiment. Prior to meditating or resting, meditators tended to have higher heart rates and diastolic blood pressure than did nonmeditators. Meditation was associated with generally reduced arousal; but while meditating, meditators did not evidence lower levels of arousal than nonmeditators did while resting. Results place qualifications on previous studies of the effects of meditation on arousal. Implications for the study of personality functioning, stress management, and psychotherapy are discussed. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1252
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • subjective arousal, 22-32 yr olds
  • transcendental meditation vs relaxation, physiological &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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