The Heart’s Hand in Creativity: The Effect of Coherence™ Meditation

Beau D. Kissler, Christina M. Frederick – Sierra Nevada College

Full manuscript:

Abstract: The Coherence Technique™ is meditation wherein individuals generate positive feelings (e.g., appreciation) while attending their heart area (McCraty & Childre, 2002). Positive emotions improve creativity (Magno, 2011; Kauffman, 2003) and adaptive problem solving (Friedman, Förster, & Denzler, 2007). Coherence is expedited when monitoring progress using the Institute of HeartMath’s biofeedback device, the EmWave Desktop Monitor™ (McCraty, 2002). The current study examines the relationship between meditation and creativity. 43 undergraduates, aged 18-30, were assigned to 1 of 3 groups (non-, medium-, and high-coherence). The non-coherence group completed an intellectually demanding academic test prior to a 10-minute creativity test focused on unique idea generation (Macleod, 2009). Medium- and high-coherence participants were trained using the quick coherence technique and an EmWave™ biofeedback monitor. The medium-coherence group included participants who could not maintain high coherence for 3 minutes, uninterrupted. Participants who could maintain high coherence for 3 minutes, qualified for the high-coherence group. Immediately after coherence training, medium- and high-coherence participants completed the creativity test. Creativity test performance was categorized by coherence group. Differences in median test scores between these groups were assessed using the non-parametric alternative to the one-way ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis (Ryan & Joiner, 2005). Results show no significant difference (H = .66, p = .882) in creativity between coherence groups. Although short-term meditation does not increase creativity, these results encourage use of longitudinal designs when researching wellness practices.

Read the full manuscript: