Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Loving-Kindness Meditation and Prosocial Construct Activation Public Deposited

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  • Both Buddhist and psychological theory postulate that present actions will influence future perceptions, judgments, and behaviors in a concordant manner. While Buddhists explain these effects in the context of karmic theory, psychologists consider these effects of construct activation and chronic construct accessibility. The present study sought to apply social psychological theory to Buddhist meditation practice, specifically to examine if loving-kindness meditation (LKM) increases prosocial construct accessibility over time, as compared to mindfulness meditation. University students practiced either mindfulness meditation or LKM for eight weeks. Measures were administered at baseline and after the eight weeks of practice. Although results did not demonstrate changes in prosocial construct accessibility, all participants experienced increases in mindfulness, satisfaction with life, emotional reappraisal abilities, and emotion management. These effects were also accompanied decreases in illness symptoms over time. Analyses yielded mixed results for measures of wisdom. The current experiment failed to replicate some known effects of mindfulness meditation, such as increases in attentional control and decreases in depressive symptoms. Limitations of the study and future directions are discussed.
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