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03-09-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 12/2019

Mindfulness 12/2019

Mindfulness Training, Implicit Bias, and Force Response Decision-Making

Mindfulness > Uitgave 12/2019
Matthew Hunsinger, Michael Christopher, Andi M. Schmidt
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The goal of this study was to assess the preliminary efficacy of a mindfulness-based training (mindfulness-based resilience training; MBRT) in improving weapon identification among law enforcement officers (LEOs).


Participants (N = 61) were randomly assigned to either MBRT or a no-intervention control (NIC) group. A self-report questionnaire assessing mindfulness and a computerized measure assessing implicit stereotype reliance were administered at baseline, post-training, and 3 months following intervention completion. We also collected information about meditation practice outside of the training for LEOs in the MBRT group.


Inferential analyses yielded improvements in mindfulness in the MBRT group compared to NIC. Analyses did not provide evidence for implicit stereotype reliance at baseline and therefore did not yield a significant impact of MBRT versus NIC on implicit stereotype reliance, ps > .05; however, participants across both conditions exerted more control when responding to Black male targets compared to White male targets, F(1,74) = 3.98, p = .05, 95% CI [− .05, − .01], d = .36.


Our results do not provide evidence for the impact of MBRT on weapon identification but do suggest that LEOs exerted more effort when responding to images of Black males compared to White males. We discuss recommendations for future clinical trials assessing implicit stereotype reliance, viz., that researchers utilize measures more sensitive to a wider range of LEO samples and with higher ecological validity, and we discuss potential reasons why our results do not align with past research.

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