Cognition, Intelligence and Language I/O Psychology

Ep 193: Mindfulness Benefits on the GRE and at Work

There is a lot of talk about mindfulness among psychologists today. Find out what mindfulness is and how it differs from meditation in this episode of The Psych Files. What might you use mindfulness for? Well, in addition to what you might expect – reducing stress – mindfulness training is also being used to improve job satisfaction and productivity. Interested in increasing your score on the GRE? Being more mindful might also help out there as well.

The present study demonstrates that a 2-week mindfulness training program can elicit increased WMC (working memory capacity) and superior reading comprehension on the GRE. The practice of mindfulness…entailed promoting a persistent effort to maintain focus on a single aspect of experience, particularly sensations of breathing, despite the frequent interruptions of unrelated perceptions or personal concerns – Mrazek, et. al

Employers might find mindfulness training beneficial for employees who have run into significant stress at work. By encouraging employees to use a few of these techniques, you can reduce workplace stress and help everyone to become more productive. With an increasing number of stress at work claims being brought to insurance companies, it makes sense to do everything in your power to keep your employees in the right state of mind while on the job. This is especially true for those who work in high-stress professions, since they need a break from the constant pressure.

Resources on Mindfulness



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    Eric Sotnak

    April 10, 2013

    The subject of multi-tasking came up again. An interesting study suggests that multi-tasking is something one does not get better at with practice.

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    Eric Walberg

    April 10, 2013

    You were reading the comment by the woman from New York and you spoke of the fact that we often do not help so as to maintain the resources we have which set us apart from them or which we need to avoid . I was suddenly reminded of a quote that is often quoted by Norman Borlaugh, “You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery.”, as well as the old typically referenced Hierarchy of Needs and various things within moral development… I suddenly realized, or at least thought in a way that seems as though it might be a realization, that the hierarchy of needs of others can affect one’s own to a great degree, and since the hierarchy of needs is often stated alongside moral behavior and moral development, it could also affect one’s morality. In the case of the description of the homeless in New York and the reaction to them, even if one could be said to be higher on the hierarchy of needs, the presence of this reminder of starvation, lack of prosperity or security in life, ect. could conceivably be said to set one mentally a bit lower than they might otherwise be. Consequently, their moral behavior could be affected similarly. This is to the detriment of both, and could perhaps be hypothesized to be a self-feeding downward spiral, because every time an observer scorns a homeless person person scorned or thinks of them poorly, it mentally reinforces their fears or thoughts about the possibility of being lower on the hierarchy (though they might not think of it as such), and meanwhile with every bit of scorn recieved the homeless person is set that much less likely to ever reach any higher on the hierarchy: they already lack many of the things in the Safety category, but when scorned they are even less likely to ever reach levels of percieved friendship and companionship in the category above, and the even less likely they will ever have self esteem, achievement, respect, ect in the layer above even that. The more homeless or the more pained the homeless, the more scorn and fear and the greater the lowering of the observer, and the more scorn and fear from the observer the more homeless and/or the greater the pains of each homeless person.
    I don’t mean to be taking the hierarchy of needs completely literally, but it certainly can have some applicable implications, or, in the case of the zombie survivors not helping someone in need, observable causes (I haven’t seen the show, but I would say the survivors are probably pretty low on the hierarchy of needs, lacking safety in any permanent form, and generally being pretty strapped for some of the things in the level below that).

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