Submitted Successfully!
To reward your contribution, here is a gift for you: A free trial for our video production service.
Thank you for your contribution! You can also upload a video entry or images related to this topic.
Version Summary Created by Modification Content Size Created at Operation
1 -- 1188 2022-11-23 15:08:41 |
2 layout Meta information modification 1188 2022-11-24 06:36:27 |

Video Upload Options

Do you have a full video?


Are you sure to Delete?
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
Lachaud, L.;  Jacquet, B.;  Baratgin, J. Mindfulness Meditation. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 19 April 2024).
Lachaud L,  Jacquet B,  Baratgin J. Mindfulness Meditation. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 19, 2024.
Lachaud, Léa, Baptiste Jacquet, Jean Baratgin. "Mindfulness Meditation" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 19, 2024).
Lachaud, L.,  Jacquet, B., & Baratgin, J. (2022, November 23). Mindfulness Meditation. In Encyclopedia.
Lachaud, Léa, et al. "Mindfulness Meditation." Encyclopedia. Web. 23 November, 2022.
Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness consists of both a natural psychological predisposition as well as a personality trait that is developed and maintained through the practice of mindfulness meditation.

mindfulness experienced meditators meditation effects

1. Introduction

Cognitive biases are responsible for many of the behaviors that deviate from what would be considered rational in a given situation. Research has shown evidence supporting the idea that mindfulness meditation could reduce the effect of some well-known cognitive biases ([1][2][3][4]; for examples).
Given that studies suggest that regular mindfulness practice improves introspective access [5][6] and the ability to focus attention on the details of the environment [7][8]; it may reduce biases initially caused by the lack of sufficient introspection and poor attention to the environment.
The choice-blindness (CB) effect, first observed by Johansson and collaborators [9], is one such bias. According to Petitmengin and collaborators [10], the CB effect is caused by blindness to the decision processes (non-conscious reasons for our choices) and not by blindness to the decision criteria (conscious explanation of our choices). Indeed, their study showed that the detection rate of manipulations in a CB context was improved following an elicitation interview conducted just after the presentation of the non-chosen object (photograph). Manipulated trials followed by an elicitation interview were detected in 80% of the cases, whereas classic manipulated trials (not followed by the interview) were only detected in 33% of the cases. The explanatory interview method [11][12] aims to provoke in the subject, via specific questions, an awareness of subjective experience that is usually not directly accessible to consciousness (“pre-reflective” awareness) [10]. However, this method has an important point in common with the activity of mindfulness meditation: that of performing introspective acts of recalling and directing attention in order to increase awareness of the process of choice [10]. Furthermore, the authors [10] note that the sole act of evoking subjective experience through an explanatory interview does not improve the detection of manipulations that have not been followed by this interview. The authors then suggest that these introspective abilities are skills that need to be learned, which seems to be achievable through the regular practice of mindfulness [5][6].

The Practice of Mindfulness Meditation and Its Cognitive Effects

Mindfulness consists of both a natural psychological predisposition as well as a personality trait that is developed and maintained through the practice of mindfulness meditation [13]. The practice of mindfulness consists of focusing one’s attention and awareness on the present moment by adopting a non-judgmental attitude [14][15]. This practice is mainly characterized by two attitudes: (i) the self-regulation of attention to maintain a context of immediacy for a given situation, thereby allowing for the increased recognition of mental events in the present moment and (ii) adopting a particular mental orientation characterized by curiosity and acceptance of one’s experiences in the present moment, while remaining open to alternate interpretations with a goal of objectivity [16].
Tang and collaborators present a model of mindfulness meditation including at least three components: “enhanced attention control, improved emotion regulation, and altered self-awareness (diminished self-referential processing and enhanced body awareness)”. The interaction between these three factors enhances self-regulation [17] (p. 2).
Others describe mindfulness as a specific form of mental training to develop self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence [18] and as a mental training associated with activating emotional flexibility, cognitive flexibility, and attention processes [19]. Regular use of these aptitudes by experienced meditators allows the “mindfulness” personality trait to develop and allows modulating networks of self-processing to reduce cognitive bias.

2. The “Mindful” Personality Trait: A Possible Consequence of Mindfulness Practice

Studies have shown that people who regularly meditate often develop trait, or dispositional, mindfulness [20]. The mindfulness trait yields the ability to dedicate attention to the current moment, enabling greater situational awareness as well as an improved ability to take a step back and observe one’s own thoughts [21]. This ability remains stable over time [13] and can be maintained or improved by the practice of a meditative activity [22]. People who have acquired the mindfulness trait thanks to the consistent practice of mindfulness meditation are more likely to possess a habit of observing their thoughts and behaviors with greater openness and objectivity compared to the general population who is naive to meditation [3]. For example, experienced meditators are able to detect light flashes of shorter duration than the non-meditators [23]. These results are interpreted as the consequence of “an enduring increase in sensitivity, perhaps the long-term effect of the practice of mindfulness meditation on certain perceptual habit patterns” [23] (p. 727).
Trait mindfulness can also decrease the influence of some cognitive biases related to decision-making [1][2][3][4][24] by placing meditators in an analytical position to observe their environment and their own bodily and mental events [3]. It can also improve working memory capacity by decreasing mind-wandering [25], keeping one’s attention focused on the present moment [1], improving one’s ability to explore one’s own values and priorities [3] and by improving the ability to regulate emotional states recognized to be influencing decision-making [26][27][28]. Carlson also listed several pieces of empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that mindfulness would improve self-knowledge of emotions, thoughts, behavior and the accuracy of beliefs regarding metaperception [29].
Trait mindfulness is often measured with a scale called the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI). The version FMI-14 items is validated for use outside of a Buddhist context and can be completed by people without any knowledge of meditation [30][31]. Studies have demonstrated that mindfulness practice increases an individual’s FMI score [30][32] and that FMI scores are, on average, higher for experienced meditators compared to the FMI scores of non-meditators [33], indicating that the FMI scale is a good tool to validate the consistency of groups of experienced meditators compared to non-meditators [30]. Researchers ensured that, at the group level, FMI scores, and thus trait mindfulness, are higher for experienced meditators than would be expected for non-meditators.

3. The Choice-Blindness Paradigm

The CB paradigm involves giving participants false feedback on their choices, thus creating a mismatch between their intentions and the outcome of their choices [9][34][35][36][37][38]. CB occurs when participants fail to notice this discrepancy and produce a confabulatory answer when the experimenter asks for the reason why they chose something that they in fact never chose [39][40]. This effect can occur during simple visual choices (e.g., a choice between two pictures) but also during more complex choices, such as the choice between two objects only discriminated by touch [41], or the recognition of a verbal declaration (see [42], in which participants believed they had said something they, in fact, never said).
Two interpretations of the CB phenomenon are of interest here. CB could be the result of insufficient introspection [39][43][44] and of the under-estimation of the influence of environmental and situational factors (environmental factors include the participant’s physical surroundings. Situational factors would instead consist of the general context of the situation they are currently in, such as the fact that they are participating in an online experiment) [34][35][36][45][46]. Yet, an attitude of openness allows meditators to obtain better introspective access [5][6] as well as an improved capacity to focus on environmental details [7][8].
Moreover, positive emotions increase the perception of false feedback in a visual task of CB [47], and the practice of meditation increases well-being and positive emotions [13][48][49]. Therefore, researchers suggest that mindfulness meditators should be better able to notice the mismatch and thus more easily avoid CB compared to non-meditators.


  1. Hafenbrack, A.C.; Kinias, Z.; Barsade, S.G. Debiasing the mind through meditation: Mindfulness and the sunk-cost bias. Psychol. Sci. 2014, 25, 369–376.
  2. Liu, S.; Liu, Y.; Ni, Y. A review of mindfulness improves decision making and future prospects. Psychology 2018, 9, 229–248.
  3. Raglan, G.; Schulkin, J. Decision making, mindfulness, and mood: How mindfulness techniques can reduce the impact of biases and heuristics through improved decision making and positive affect. J. Depress. Anxiety 2014, 4, 1000168.
  4. Sun, S.; Yao, Z.; Wei, J.; Yu, R. Calm and smart? A selective review of meditation effects on decision making. Front. Psychol. 2015, 6, 1059.
  5. Frank, P.; Sundermann, A.; Fischer, D. How mindfulness training cultivates introspection and competence development for sustainable consumption. Int. J. Sustain. High. Educ. 2019, 20, 1002–1021.
  6. Gibson, J. Mindfulness, interoception, and the body: A contemporary perspective. Front. Psychol. 2019, 10, 2012.
  7. Fiol, C.M.; O’Connor, E.J. Waking up! Mindfulness in the face of bandwagons. Acad. Manag. Rev. 2003, 28, 54–70.
  8. Schofield, T.P.; Creswell, J.D.; Denson, T.F. Brief mindfulness induction reduces inattentional blindness. Conscious. Cogn. 2015, 37, 63–70.
  9. Johansson, P.; Hall, L.; Sikström, S.; Olsson, A. Failure to detect mismatches between intention and outcome in a simple decision task. Science 2005, 310, 116–119.
  10. Petitmengin, C.; Remillieux, A.; Cahour, B.; Carter-Thomas, S. A gap in Nisbett and Wilson’s findings? A first-person access to our cognitive processes. Conscious. Cogn. 2013, 22, 654–669.
  11. Vermersch, P. L’entretien d’explicitation; ESF Sciences Humaines: Paris, France, 1994.
  12. Vermersch, P. Introspection as practice. J. Conscious. Stud. 1999, 6, 17–42.
  13. Brown, K.W.; Ryan, R.M. The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 2003, 84, 822.
  14. Kabat-Zinn, J.; Lipworth, L.; Burney, R. The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. J. Behav. Med. 1985, 8, 163–190.
  15. Kang, Y.; Gruber, J.; Gray, J.R. Mindfulness and de-automatization. Emot. Rev. 2013, 5, 192–201.
  16. Bishop, S.R.; Lau, M.; Shapiro, S.; Carlson, L.; Anderson, N.D.; Carmody, J.; Segal, Z.V.; Abbey, S.; Speca, M.; Velting, D.; et al. Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract. 2004, 11, 230.
  17. Tang, Y.Y.; Hölzel, B.K.; Posner, M.I. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2015, 16, 213–225.
  18. Vago, D.R.; David, S.A. Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): A framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 2012, 6, 296.
  19. Malinowski, P. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation. Front. Neurosci. 2013, 7, 8.
  20. Baer, R.A.; Smith, G.T.; Hopkins, J.; Krietemeyer, J.; Toney, L. Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment 2006, 13, 27–45.
  21. Kabat-Zinn, J. Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future; Blackwell Publishing: Hoboken, NJ, USA, 2003.
  22. Kiken, L.G.; Garland, E.L.; Bluth, K.; Palsson, O.S.; Gaylord, S.A. From a state to a trait: Trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during intervention predict changes in trait mindfulness. Personal. Individ. Differ. 2015, 81, 41–46.
  23. Brown, D.; Forte, M.; Dysart, M. Differences in visual sensitivity among mindfulness meditators and non-meditators. Percept. Mot. Ski. 1984, 58, 727–733.
  24. Brandtner, A.; Antons, S.; King, D.L.; Potenza, M.N.; Tang, Y.Y.; Blycker, G.R.; Brand, M.; Liebherr, M. A preregistered, systematic review considering mindfulness-based interventions and neurofeedback for targeting affective and cognitive processes in behavioral addictions. Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract. 2022; in press.
  25. Mrazek, M.D.; Franklin, M.S.; Phillips, D.T.; Baird, B.; Schooler, J.W. Mindfulness training improves working memory capacity and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering. Psychol. Sci. 2013, 24, 776–781.
  26. Black, D.S.; Sussman, S.; Johnson, C.A.; Milam, J. Trait mindfulness helps shield decision-making from translating into health-risk behavior. J. Adolesc. Health 2012, 51, 588–592.
  27. Kirk, U.; Gu, X.; Sharp, C.; Hula, A.; Fonagy, P.; Montague, P.R. Mindfulness training increases cooperative decision making in economic exchanges: Evidence from fMRI. NeuroImage 2016, 138, 274–283.
  28. Shapiro, S.L.; Jazaieri, H.; Goldin, P.R. Mindfulness-based stress reduction effects on moral reasoning and decision making. J. Posit. Psychol. 2012, 7, 504–515.
  29. Carlson, E.N. Overcoming the barriers to self-knowledge: Mindfulness as a path to seeing yourself as you really are. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 2013, 8, 173–186.
  30. Walach, H.; Buchheld, N.; Buttenmüller, V.; Kleinknecht, N.; Schmidt, S. Measuring mindfulness—the Freiburg mindfulness inventory (FMI). Personal. Individ. Differ. 2006, 40, 1543–1555.
  31. Trousselard, M.; Steiler, D.; Raphel, C.; Cian, C.; Duymedjian, R.; Claverie, D.; Canini, F. Validation of a French version of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory-short version: Relationships between mindfulness and stress in an adult population. BioPsychoSocial Med. 2010, 4, 8.
  32. Buchheld, N.; Grossman, P.; Walach, H. Measuring mindfulness in insight meditation (Vipassana) and meditation-based psychotherapy: The development of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI). J. Medit. Medit. Res. 2001, 1, 11–34.
  33. Lehto, J.E.; Uusitalo-Malmivaara, L.; Repo, S. Measuring mindfulness and well-being in adults: The role of age and meditation experience. J. Happiness Well-Being 2015, 3, 30–40.
  34. Cheung, T.; Junghans, A.; Dijksterhuis, G.; Kroese, F.; Johansson, P.; Hall, L.; De Ridder, D. Consumers’ choice-blindness to ingredient information. Appetite 2016, 106, 2–12.
  35. Hall, L.; Johansson, P.; Tärning, B.; Sikström, S.; Deutgen, T. Magic at the marketplace: Choice blindness for the taste of jam and the smell of tea. Cognition 2010, 117, 54–61.
  36. Hall, L.; Johansson, P. Using choice blindness to study decision making and introspection. In Cognition–A Smorgasbord; Gärdenfors, P., Wallin, A., Eds.; Bokförlaget Nya Doxa: Nora, Sweden, 2008; pp. 267–283.
  37. Hall, L.; Johansson, P.; Strandberg, T. Lifting the veil of morality: Choice blindness and attitude reversals on a self-transforming survey. PLoS ONE 2012, 7, e45457.
  38. Johansson, P.; Hall, L.; Tärning, B.; Sikström, S.; Chater, N. Choice blindness and preference change: You will like this paper better if you (believe you) chose to read it! J. Behav. Decis. Mak. 2014, 27, 281–289.
  39. Bortolotti, L.; Sullivan-Bissett, E. Is choice blindness a case of self-ignorance? Synthese 2021, 198, 5437–5454.
  40. Johansson, P.; Hall, L.; Sikström, S.; Tärning, B.; Lind, A. How something can be said about telling more than we can know: On choice blindness and introspection. Conscious. Cogn. 2006, 15, 673–692.
  41. Steenfeldt-Kristensen, C.; Thornton, I.M. Haptic choice blindness. i-Perception 2013, 4, 207–210.
  42. Lind, A.; Hall, L.; Breidegard, B.; Balkenius, C.; Johansson, P. Speakers’ acceptance of real-time speech exchange indicates that we use auditory feedback to specify the meaning of what we say. Psychol. Sci. 2014, 25, 1198–1205.
  43. Chen, M.K.; Risen, J.L. How choice affects and reflects preferences: Revisiting the free-choice paradigm. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 2010, 99, 573.
  44. Hall, L.; Strandberg, T.; Pärnamets, P.; Lind, A.; Tärning, B.; Johansson, P. How the polls can be both spot on and dead wrong: Using choice blindness to shift political attitudes and voter intentions. PLoS ONE 2013, 8, e60554.
  45. Ariely, D.; Norton, M.I. How actions create–not just reveal–preferences. Trends Cogn. Sci. 2008, 12, 13–16.
  46. Pärnamets, P.; Hall, L.; Johansson, P. Memory distortions resulting from a choice blindness task. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, Pasadena, CA, USA, 22–25 July 2015; Cognitive Science Society, Inc.: Seattle, WA, USA, 2015; pp. 1823–1828.
  47. Huangfu, H.; Lu, Y.; Fu, S. A Visual Cognition Test-Based Study on the Choice Blindness Persistence: Impacts of Positive Emotion and Picture Similarity. In Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics. HCII 2019; Harris, D., Ed.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2019; Volume 11571.
  48. Birtwell, K.; Williams, K.; Van Marwijk, H.; Armitage, C.J.; Sheffield, D. An exploration of formal and informal mindfulness practice and associations with wellbeing. Mindfulness 2019, 10, 89–99.
  49. Davidson, R.; Schuyler, B. Neuroscience du bonheur. Revue québécoise de Psychologie 2017, 38, 39–64.
Subjects: Psychology
Contributors MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to : , ,
View Times: 346
Revisions: 2 times (View History)
Update Date: 24 Nov 2022