Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Implicit Age and Race Bias: The Role of Reduced Automaticity of Responding. Adam Lueke and Bryan Gibson. Social Psychology and Personality Science, 2015, 6(3),284-291. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550614559651
This study design consisted of 70 white, female college-age students who listened to either a 10 minute mindfulness meditation audio recording or a control recording discussing historical events and geographic landmarks before completing the IAT. The mindfulness and control groups did not differ on standardized self-report questionnaires that examined prejudicial motivations or mindfulness. Results showed that that the brief mindfulness meditation training caused an increase in self-reported mindfulness as well as a decrease in implicit race and age bias. Analyses showed that this reduction in bias was due to weaker automatically activated negative associations. This study is important in that it demonstrates that the tendency to respond automatically and reactively to unconscious thoughts and emotions is malleable with even a brief training. Limitations of this study include the type and small sample size as well as short interval of training and measurement duration. Surprisingly, there has been little published research since this initial study corroborating these findings or examining the impact of long-term mindfulness training on racial bias in adults, youth or special populations, such as, educators.