The Effects of Mindfulness and Fear-Inducing Stimuli on Avoidance Behavior
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 276 - 281
Source ID: shanti-sources-109686
Collection: Mindfulness Studies and Undergraduates
Abstract: Previous research has shown that those with anxiety disorders may avoid distressing emotions, which in turn may increase avoidance behavior and help to maintain anxiety symptoms. The current study used an analogue laboratory design to investigate whether engaging in a brief mindfulness induction may result in decreased avoidance behavior following a fear-inducing stimulus. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to listen to a brief mindfulness induction or to a control audio designed to induce unfocused attention. They were then shown a fear-inducing or neutral film clip. Avoidance behavior was measured by the likelihood of quitting a frustrating math task. Of those participants watching the fear-inducing film clip, those in the mindfulness group were less likely to quit the frustrating task than those in the control audio group. There was no difference in persistence between the mindfulness and control groups after the neutral film. Perhaps mindfulness training can boost persistence after the experience of fear.