Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool that can provide a sense of peace in the present. Itenables a broader attentional awareness of one’s self and surroundings, which then leads to cognitive changes (e.g., Brown et al., 2016). The current study examined the influence of short- term mindfulness meditation on long-term memory, attention, and empathy. Thirty college students that participated in the current study were divided into three groups that differed in exposure of mindfulness. The Mindfulness Meditation group performed Open-Monitoring meditation. The Focused Attention group performed meditation that instructed participants to focus on a particular object or idea. The Control group completed simple math problems. Meditation instructions occurred over three sessions for 10 minutes each. I hypothesized the Mindfulness Meditation group would exhibit better recall, better attentional performance, and higher levels of empathy than the other groups. Results indicated better recall on the third session for the Mindfulness Meditation group compared to the other two groups. Thus, three sessions of brief mindfulness meditation were shown to improve long-term memory. The findings demonstrate that mindfulness meditation can influence cognition, but only for memory and not for attention.
Totman, Torrey D., "Examining the Influence of Mindfulness Meditation on Cognition and Empathy" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9468.
Mindfulness, meditation, attention, empathy, long-term memory
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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