Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Christian Jordan
Mainstream mindfulness programs generally remove Buddhist ethics, causing some to worry they may encourage self-indulgence and have limited capacity to promote well-being. We compare the effects of secular and ethical mindfulness (incorporating principles of non-harm and interdependence) on well-being and prosocial behaviour. Participants (N = 621) completed six days of ethical or secular mindfulness or active control exercises. Secular and ethical mindfulness practices both reduced stress and self-image concerns, and increased life satisfaction and self-awareness. Ethical mindfulness also enhanced personal growth. Participants were also invited to donate to a charity. Both mindfulness practices potentiated effects of trait empathy on behaviour: Trait empathy predicted donation amounts for mindfulness participants but not controls. Ethical, relative to secular, mindfulness also increased donation amounts. Within this pattern, low trait empathy participants gave less money following secular mindfulness than control exercises. Mindfulness training may thus have unintended consequences, making some people less charitable, though incorporating ethics may forestall such effects.
Chen, Siyin, "EXPLORING THE MIDDLE PATH: EFFECTS OF ETHICAL AND SECULAR MINDFULNESS ON WELL-BEING AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR" (2017). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1955.