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Mindfulness Meditation Increases the Accuracy of Source Attributions

18 April 2008


Mindfulness is a component of several psychotherapeutic programs. There is research supporting the effectiveness of some of these programs. Theories and definitions of mindfulness have been proposed. To clarify what mindfulness is and how it works, there is a need for research demonstrating the specific effects of mindfulness practice. In the present study, a group of participants who practice mindfulness meditation and a group of non-meditators were shown a video depicting a car crash followed by an assault and theft. Immediately after viewing the video, participants answered questions about perceptual details of the video. About half of the meditators and about half of the non-meditators answered misleading questions. After completing the first questionnaire participants answered another set of questions to assess whether they had been misled. It was hypothesized that meditators would notice more details, remember more of their subjective experience of watching the video, and therefore give more accurate responses and fewer misled responses. Although the two groups did not differ significantly in their overall accuracy, meditators gave significantly fewer misled responses than non-meditators did. It is proposed that mindfulness meditation increases the accuracy of source monitoring by increasing practitioners' awareness of subjective experience.


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