Bachelor of Arts
Misinformation effect, Mindful meditation, Discrepancy recollection task
Engaging in a brief mindful meditation task prior to witnessing an event may enhance event encoding and reduce susceptibility to post-event misinformation. Participants in this study completed either a 3-minute mindful meditation exercise or an unrelated filler task (Sudoku). Half of the participants in each group were first told their task was beneficial to memory, while the other half were told nothing. After completing the task, all participants viewed a video of a fictitious crime. After viewing the video, they listened to a narrative that introduced misleading information about the video. Finally, they took a memory test on the video. Despite data indicating that the mindful meditation task was effective, there was no difference between the two groups on memory performance. However, regardless of the task completed prior to the video, participants who were told they were doing something beneficial to memory reported fewer false memories. Finally, a correlation analysis found that for participants who engaged in the meditation task, greater states of mindfulness were associated with fewer reports of misinformation and a decrease in their ability to recollect discrepancies between the video and narrative. The same correlations were not significant in the control group. These findings have interesting implications for the relationship between mindfulness and memory. It appears that mindful meditation decreases a participant's ability to evaluate incoming information.
Price, Lauren, "Does Mindful Meditation Enhance Eyewitness Memory and Prevent the Misinformation Effect?" (2017). Honors Theses. 27.