This project examined the extent to which meditation can promote compassion and well-being, even in the face of conflict. Specifically, we examined whether compassion and mindfulness training can produce compassionate tendencies that act as an enduring inoculation against the negative effects of anger, using measures of subjective experience (e.g., anger, compassion, well-being) in daily life and physiological responses to an interpersonal conflict in a laboratory setting. Preliminary results show that compassion and mindfulness meditation promote the expected effect for some people but not for others. That is, as expected, some people show quicker cardiovascular recovery after training, but contrary to prediction, some people show delayed cardiovascular recovery for others. Ongoing analyses are exploring additional variables that might explain these different effects for different people. The potential for contemplative practice to ameliorate the subjective, physiological, and behavioral effects of anger has important implications for societal and relational health. If contemplative practice can increase virtuous states and reduce the effect of angering situations, this research could have far-reaching application and impact in reducing inter-personal discord and worldwide disorders of vascular reactivity.

Paul Condon, PhD

Southern Oregon University

Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

Dr. Paul Condon is a professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. His research examines the impact of meditation on social processes–including compassion, moral decision-making, and emotion … MORE