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24-09-2016 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2017

Mindfulness 2/2017

The Effects of a Mindful Listening Task on Mind-Wandering

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2017
Orion Taraban, Frederick Heide, Marjorie Woollacott, Davina Chan


Mind-wandering has been linked to reductions in mood as well as performance decrements on a variety of tasks, including reading comprehension. The present study sought to evaluate whether the attention training technique (ATT) could induce an elevated state of mindful awareness capable of moderating the negative affective and behavioral consequences of mind-wandering in a nonclinical sample. Participants randomly assigned to receive the ATT (n = 21) reported significantly more mindful state awareness and more positive mood from preinduction to postinduction relative to those assigned to an active placebo (n = 22). Furthermore, participants who received the ATT exhibited substantially fewer instances of off-task thinking measured covertly during a word-by-word text progression task than did those who received the placebo. These findings collectively represent the first empirical validation of the ATT as a mindfulness inductor and attest to its capacity to effect meaningful reductions in mind-wandering frequencies and significant elevations in mood after only a single application. Implications of these results for current theory and clinical practice are discussed.

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