Date of Award

5-1-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

An increasing number of publications from a variety of human service fields have sought to utilize mindfulness meditation as a means to reduce psychological distress and increase positive psychological outlooks. These studies typically involve mindfulness training and typically last anywhere from 4 hours to 8 weeks. To date, no published research has established the minimal amount of time for effective outcomes to benefit from mindfulness exposure. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether brief exposure to mindfulness training before a discrete event can lead to positive outcomes in that event and increased mindfulness in a group of university students. A group of 26 undergraduate and graduate students in two different classes were exposed to either a control task (listening to music) or a mindfulness intervention just prior to taking a quiz. The session lasted no more than 30 minutes and the mindfulness intervention itself was timed to not exceed 15 minutes. Visual inspection of the data yielded some positive outcomes in terms of increased performing on a quiz in comparison to quiz grades the week before. Statistical analysis suggested that these outcomes were not statistically significant. This study adds to the research on mindfulness as an intervention for positive outcomes. Implications for future research on practical benefits of mindfulness were discussed.

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