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To Think and Feel is to Learn: An Investigation of Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training on the Effects of Emotion Regulation and Learning Outcomes

Jamal-Orozco, Nabila (2020) To Think and Feel is to Learn: An Investigation of Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training on the Effects of Emotion Regulation and Learning Outcomes. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study investigates the theoretical links between academic stress, emotion regulation, and learning. Scholars conceptualize mindfulness as comprising two distinct features: focused attention on the present moment and nonjudgmental awareness. Research has found that mindfulness is associated with improved emotion regulation skills, cognitive, and academic performance (Bellinger, DeCaro, & Ralston, 2015; Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007; Jha, Stanley, Kiyonaga, Wong, & Gelfand, 2010). Little past work has investigated the potential mechanisms underlying the cognitive benefits, especially related to learning. I tested the effects of a brief mindfulness training on rumination, stress appraisals, and learning outcomes following an academic stress induction in an experimental setting. Undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of three groups: mindfulness meditation (training on focused attention and nonjudgmental awareness); guided attention to music (training on focused attention but not on nonjudgmental awareness); or wakeful rest (no training on focused attention or on nonjudgmental awareness). To the degree that focused attention and nonjudgmental awareness are critical to learning under stress, I expected mindfulness training to have the strongest positive effects—followed by guided attention to music and, lastly, by wakeful rest—on rumination reduction, stress appraisals, and learning. After controlling for individual differences in mindfulness, emotional regulation, worry, math motivation, math anxiety, and prior knowledge, the results did not support these hypotheses. The present work will, thus, address a research agenda for the future that reconceptualizes stress appraisals, assessing individual differences and contextual factors and collecting data from target samples.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jamal-Orozco, Nabilanpj11@pitt.edunpj11
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairNokes-Malach, Timothynokes@pitt.edunokes
Committee MemberFraundorf, Scott H.sfraundo@pitt.edusfraundo
Committee MemberGalla, Briangallabri@pitt.edugallabri
Committee MemberHallion, Lauren S.hallion@pitt.eduhallion
Date: 10 April 2020
Defense Date: 25 November 2019
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 10 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 96
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: mindfulness meditation; learning; emotion regulation; stress appraisals; rumination
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 15:07
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 15:07


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