Effects of an 8-week meditation program on the implicit and explicit attitudes toward religious/spiritual self-representations

Cristiano Crescentini, Cosimo Urgesi, Fabio Campanella, Roberto Eleopra, Franco Fabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Explicit self-representations often conflict with implicit and intuitive self-representations, with such discrepancies being seen as a source of psychological tension. Most of previous research on the psychological effects of mindfulness-meditation has assessed people's self-attitudes at an explicit level, leaving unknown whether mindfulness-meditation promotes changes on implicit self-representations. Here, we assessed the changes in implicit and explicit self-related religious/spiritual (RS) representations in healthy participants following an 8-week mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) program. Before and after meditation, participants were administered implicit (implicit association test) and explicit (self-reported questionnaires) RS measures. Relative to control condition, MOM led to increases of implicit RS in individuals whit low pre-existing implicit RS and to more widespread increases in explicit RS. On the assumption that MOM practice may enhance the clarity of one's transcendental thoughts and feelings, we argued that MOM allows people to transform their intuitive feelings of implicit RS as well as their explicit RS attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-280
Number of pages15
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014

Keywords

  • Implicit association test
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Religiousness-Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

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