Better cognitive performance is associated with the combination of high trait mindfulness and low trait anxiety

Satish Jaiswal, Shao Yang Tsai, Chi Hung Juan, Wei Kuang Liang, Neil G. Muggleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


There are several ways in which cognitive and neurophysiological parameters have been consistently used to explain the variability in cognitive ability between people. However, little has been done to explore how such cognitive abilities are influenced by differences in personality traits. Dispositional mindfulness and anxiety are two inversely linked traits that have been independently attributed to a range of cognitive functions. The current study investigated these two traits in combination along with measures of the attentional network, cognitive inhibition, and visual working memory (VWM) capacity. A total of 392 prospective participants were screened to select two experimental groups each of 30 healthy young adults, with one having high mindfulness and low anxiety (HMLA) and the second having low mindfulness and high anxiety (LMHA). The groups performed an attentional network task, a color Stroop task, and a change detection test of VWM capacity. Results showed that the HMLA group was more accurate than the LMHA group on the Stroop and change detection tasks. Additionally, the HMLA group was more sensitive in detecting changes and had a higher WMC than the LMHA group. This research adds to the literature that has investigated mindfulness and anxiety independently with a comprehensive investigation of the effects of these two traits in conjunction on executive function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number627
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 3 May 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Executive functions
  • Mindfulness
  • Personality traits
  • Self-report measures


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