Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS Experimental Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Paige H. Fisher, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marianne E. Lloyd, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Teague, Ph.D.

Keywords

one-session meditation, mindfulness, guided imagery, stress

Abstract

The current study concerns three main questions that are related to mindfulness meditation: the benefits of a brief preventative one-session mindfulness meditation, the effects of mindfulness meditation compared to a concentrative meditation, and correlations between rumination and stress when facing anticipated and unanticipated stressors. Type of meditation and whether or not participants could anticipate an upcoming stressor were varied in four conditions. Participants completed one 20-minute session of either mindfulness meditation or guided imagery meditation and were informed of a speech preparation task either before or after completing the meditation. Both one-session of mindfulness meditation and guided imagery meditation were able to reduce self-reported stress scores, but mindfulness was not more effective than guided imagery. There were no differences between conditions and neither meditation significantly reduced anxiety, rumination, heart rate, or blood pressure. These results indicate that one-session preventative mindfulness and guided imagery meditations may be equally beneficial in reducing stress. Moreover, the data supports the potential benefits of multiple therapeutic approaches when completing one-session of meditation, which might increase the range of individuals who can find positive benefits from these techniques.

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