Effects of a brief mindfulness induction : an event-related potential study.

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Long, Byron A.
Perrone, Kristin M.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling
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This study investigated the impact a brief mindfulness induction had on the emotional arousal of individuals with insecure attachments. Participants were prescreened to determine their attachment style (i.e., anxiously or avoidantly attached) prior to coming to the lab for data collection. Once in the lab, participants completed a picture-sorting task that required them to categorize emotionally arousing pictures as either unpleasant or neutral. All participants completed this task, listened to a prerecorded brief mindfulness induction, and completed the picture-sorting task a second time. Event-related potentials were collected during both sorting tasks. Late positive potentials (LPP) were compared between and within attachment groups pre and post the mindfulness induction. No group differences in LPP amplitude were found between anxiously and avoidantly attached participants. However, those high in attachment anxiety showed a significant increase in LPP amplitudes to unpleasant picture after the mindfulness induction. This suggested a heighted emotional arousal following the induction. This finding has clinical significance, as brief mindfulness inductions are a popular tool used to supplement psychotherapy.