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Hitting the pause button : an investigation of meditation, mindfulness, and empathic communication
Investigation of meditation, mindfulness, and empathic communication
Corcoran, Jr., Kevin David
Everyone at one time or another reacts to communicative situations without considering the other person first. The quality of communicating with a genuine interest and care for another person, in an interaction, is referred to as empathic communication. Two communicative behaviors that are central to empathic communication are perspective-taking and empathic concern. Perspective-taking, empathic concern, and empathic communication behaviors have been studied extensively in academic literature, and as a result, theories about these behaviors have been developed. One specific theory is the theory of social mindfulness, which suggests that people are socially mindful when they consider, respect, and honor the needs, desires, and interests of the other person in a social interaction. While social mindfulness is primarily concerned with how positive behaviors relate to mindfulness in social interactions, such as seeing situations from other people’s point of view and feeling empathy for others, research has yet to connect how negative behaviors, such as dysfunctional impulsivity, are related to social mindfulness. Thus, an additional avenue of investigation in this thesis was the exploration of dysfunctional impulsivity as it is related to three components of mindfulness – awareness, nonjudgment, and nonreactivity. This additional aspect of research helps to build upon social mindfulness theory by providing an exploration of how negative behaviors are related to mindfulness in social interactions. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, this thesis research conducted an experiment examining the relationship between cognitive and emotional components of empathic communication, dysfunctional impulsivity, and mindfulness, as a result from a daily meditation intervention. Through posttest questionnaires, journal entries, and interviews, multiple methods helped to triangulate pragmatic and empirical implications. Conclusions about meditation, mindfulness, and empathic communication are presented, as well as limitations and directions for future research.
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2015.
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