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08-08-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 11/2020

Mindfulness 11/2020

The Role of Mindfulness in Viewing and Making Art in Children and Adults

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 11/2020
Auteurs:
Darya L. Zabelina, Rebecca A. White, Amanda Tobin, Laura Thompson
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Abstract

Objectives

Mindfulness training has been shown to have robust attentional and cognitive benefits. However, little is known about its effects on viewing and making art. Here, we explored the effects of mindfulness-based manipulation in art viewing and art making in two studies.

Methods

In Study 1, elementary school children (N = 59) participated in an art tour of the Kidspace gallery at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), and viewed and made artworks either with or without mindfulness manipulation. In Study 2, university students (N = 193) were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness or the control condition, and also viewed and made artworks.

Results

In Study 1, elementary students who received mindfulness induction (vs. control) reported a larger difference in excitement levels between previously seen versus new artworks, expressing more excitement about the old vs. new artworks. Further, the artworks created by children in the mindfulness (vs. control) condition were rated by independent judges as more creative and more complex. In Study 2, university students who received the mindfulness (vs. control) induction reported better memory for previously seen vs. new artworks. Their own artworks were rated by independent judges as more creative, abstract, and expressive compared to the participants in the control condition.

Conclusions

Together, results suggest that mindfulness-based practices may result in a deeper art viewing experience, and in personal art that is more creative and expressive in both children and adults.

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