Mindfulness and Empathy: Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Buddhist Teachings

Mindfulness and Empathy: Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Buddhist Teachings Several authors argue that interpersonal changes such as benevolence, compassion, and empathy should naturally emerge from a diligent practice of mindfulness. While empirical data from secularized and standardized mindfulness interventions do not fully support this assumption, a group of authors suggest that making underlying Buddhist teachings explicit within mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) might be a key factor in the modification of such culturally rooted aspects of interpersonal functioning. In order to investigate this suggestion, we compared a mindfulness program that explicitly integrates elements of Buddhist ethics (i.e., the four immeasurables) and wisdom (i.e., interdependency, non-self, common humanity) (ethics-oriented mindfulness training (EMT)), to a standard mindfulness training (SMT) program and a control group (i.e., waiting list), with a randomized controlled design in a community sample. Empathy components (i.e., affective responding, mentalization, emotion regulation, and behavioral responding), as well as variables that are typically associated with MBIs (i.e., mindfulness, self-compassion, and well-being) were assessed using multi-dimensional measures (i.e., self-reported, behavioral, physiological). Results showed no overall effects on empathy of our interventions in comparison with our control group. With regard to other variables, we found specific effects for each of our interventions. Whereas SMT led to a stable increase in mindfulness (Cohen’s d http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mindfulness Springer Journals

Mindfulness and Empathy: Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Buddhist Teachings

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Pediatrics; Child and School Psychology; Psychology, general; Public Health; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
1868-8527
eISSN
1868-8535
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12671-018-0966-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Several authors argue that interpersonal changes such as benevolence, compassion, and empathy should naturally emerge from a diligent practice of mindfulness. While empirical data from secularized and standardized mindfulness interventions do not fully support this assumption, a group of authors suggest that making underlying Buddhist teachings explicit within mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) might be a key factor in the modification of such culturally rooted aspects of interpersonal functioning. In order to investigate this suggestion, we compared a mindfulness program that explicitly integrates elements of Buddhist ethics (i.e., the four immeasurables) and wisdom (i.e., interdependency, non-self, common humanity) (ethics-oriented mindfulness training (EMT)), to a standard mindfulness training (SMT) program and a control group (i.e., waiting list), with a randomized controlled design in a community sample. Empathy components (i.e., affective responding, mentalization, emotion regulation, and behavioral responding), as well as variables that are typically associated with MBIs (i.e., mindfulness, self-compassion, and well-being) were assessed using multi-dimensional measures (i.e., self-reported, behavioral, physiological). Results showed no overall effects on empathy of our interventions in comparison with our control group. With regard to other variables, we found specific effects for each of our interventions. Whereas SMT led to a stable increase in mindfulness (Cohen’s d

Journal

MindfulnessSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 2, 2018

References

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