Monday, April 22, 2013

Mindfulness Training

Does your mind wander and your attention stray from the task at hand? Some of this is normal. Some has been linked with impairments in working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and even SAT performance. According to an article published in Psychological Science, mindfulness training may help to improve working memory and even boost standardized test scores. “We set out to find ways to reduce mind wandering and thereby improve performance within educational contexts,” says Michael D. Mrazek, a graduate student in the lab of UCSB professor of psychology Jonathan Schooler. Researchers provided a series of eight 45-minute mindfulness training sessions where participants learned to focus on a “single aspect of experience” (e.g., their breathing). There were average improvements in standardized-test scores analogous to sixteen (16) percentile points. Mrazek plans to conduct similar studies in K-12 and to investigate if web-based training could achieve desired results. [For a copy of the article "Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering," contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org ]

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