Title

Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

PLoS ONE

Publication Date

10-1-2014

Volume

9

Issue

10

Article Number

e110510

First Page

399

Last Page

419

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Abstract

The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind) is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people's mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning.

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0110510

E-ISSN

19326203

Funding Information

LBGT was supported by an Australia Prime Minister’s Endeavour Asia Award.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2014 Tan et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Tan, L. B. G., Lo, B. C. Y., & Macrae, C. N. (2014). Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing. PLoS ONE, 9(10), art. e110510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110510

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