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Relating Flow, Mindfulness, Cognitive Flexibility, and Postformal Thought: Two Studies

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Abstract

Based on prior research, there is evidence that suggests a relationship between flow, mindfulness, cognitive flexibility, and postformal thought. In Study 1, 46 undergraduates from Towson University, 12 male and 34 female, with an age range from 18 to 32 participated in this study. Materials consisted of a consent form, a demographic questionnaire, a postformal thought survey, the Short DFS, CAMS-R, CFS, and an additional flow questionnaire developed by Langer. Participants completed a consent form, the two demographic questions, and the remaining surveys. The research design was a correlational study testing the hypothesis that there would be positive linear relationships between flow, mindfulness, cognitive flexibility, and postformal thought. There was a significant relationship between flow, mindfulness, and postformal thought. There was also a significant relationship between mindfulness and cognitive flexibility. In Study 2, 51 undergraduates participated and completed all scales. The goal was to replicate the results of the first study using the same materials. Results were that, with the exception of one correlation, all of our scales were significantly positively inter-correlated. So the significant results of Study 1 were replicated and Study 2 found even stronger associations. Strategies for future research include developing a test that allows individuals to actually engage in flow, mindfulness, and cognitive flexibility rather than simply reflect on and report their propensity to do this.

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Correspondence to Jan Sinnott.

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Sinnott, J., Hilton, S., Wood, M. et al. Relating Flow, Mindfulness, Cognitive Flexibility, and Postformal Thought: Two Studies. J Adult Dev 27, 1–11 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-018-9320-2

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Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Mindfulness
  • Flow
  • Postformal thought
  • Flexibility