Title

Mindful Maths: Reducing the Impact of Stereotype Threat through Mindfulness Exercise

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Individuals who experience stereotype threat - the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable - show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive (or working-memory) resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show that performance decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief (5 min) mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.

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