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Exploring Positive Qualities of Attention

Image by Jason Devaun via Flickr

Mindfulness shows promise for improving health, but unbiased tests of its effects are lacking. Currently, the only way to measure how mindful someone is is to ask, and answers may be biased.

In contrast, breath counting, a long-time adjunct of mindfulness training, offers an objective measure of accuracy resistant to bias. We are investigating whether breath counting accuracy is a reliable and valid measure associated with greater meta-awareness, less mind-wandering, better mood and greater non-attachment. In addition, we are developing an online breath counting game that may increase players' mindfulness beyond randomization to control training conditions. If borne out, these findings would suggest breath counting is a rigorous method for studying mindfulness skill and its correlates, as well as a potential training tool with clinical relevance.

This study has been completed. Read about the findings from this study.

People Working on This Study

Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Daniel Levinson
Daniel Levinson
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin–Madison
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