Meditation to improve lateral and divergent thinking among older adults: a 2-year follow-up study

  • Samta P. PandyaEmail author
Original Article


This article reports a 2-year follow-up study on the effect of meditation to improve lateral and divergent thinking among older adults. Two measures were used with the intervention and control cohorts: Runco Ideational Behavior Scale (RIBS) and Lateral Thinking Disposition Scale (LATD). There was a significant post-test increase in the RIBS and LATD scores of the intervention group. Post-test scores were higher for women, highly qualified, retired, ever-single, widowed or divorced, living solitary or in nonconventional arrangements, in good health, who attended at least 75% of the meditation lessons and regularly practiced at home. Home practice was the strongest predictor of higher post-test scores. Structural equation models indicated that adherence to the intervention by regular attendance and home practice mediated the relationship between demographic predictors and outcomes. Meditation is useful to improve lateral and divergent thinking among older adults with some refinements for sub-cohort-specific issues.


Meditation Lateral thinking Divergent thinking Older adults Follow-up experiment 



Acknowledgements are due to all the study participants and the meditation trainers, who participated in the study on a voluntary and honorary basis.


There is no registered funder to report for this submission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to report for this submission.

Ethical approval

The study complies with the independent ethics committee of the University of Mumbai, India and conforms to the norms prescribed by the Declaration of Helsinki, 1975, as amended in 2000.

Informed consent

Informed written consent was sought from all the intervention and control group cohort members. No risks from taking part in the study and intervention were identified.

Supplementary material

40520_2019_1240_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

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