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Mind wandering is characterized by the absence of cognitive focus on a task, due to interfering spontaneous mentation. Despite a large number of investigations on mind wandering and mindfulness training in recent years, very few studies have directly investigated the effects of mindfulness training on mind wandering. In this study, we originally investigated the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training on objective and subjective indices of mind wandering, by using the sustained attention to response task (SART), in combination with the assessment of dispositional mindfulness facets through the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). To this aim, 60 participants were distributed into two groups using a stratified random assignment, based on meditation experience. One group took part in the training, whereas the other was a control, waiting condition. From this original sample, 37 people completed all assignments and were included in the study (20 in the experimental group and 17 in the control). We compared the performance at SART, as well as the dispositional measures of the two groups, before and after the intervention. We found that MBSR training led to a reduction of attentional lapses and to increased scores in self-reported dispositional mindfulness facets. However, we did not find such reduction in thought probe reports of attentional focus and meta-awareness. The collective results highlight the importance of studying the association of behavioral, self-reported thought probes and dispositional mindfulness while investigating the effects of mindfulness training on cognitive and metacognitive functions.
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- Effects of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program on Mind Wandering and Dispositional Mindfulness Facets
Marta Olivetti Belardinelli
Steven D. Hickman
- Springer US