Predominant theories of intergroup relations argue that ideological conflicts between American political groups are sustained by negative emotions. Cognitive reappraisal (CR), defined as the explicit reinterpretation of negative events, has been shown to reduce intergroup negative emotions. However, CR is limited in its applications to real-world political events. Mindfulness also appears to foster negative emotion regulation and may provide socio-emotional benefits above and beyond those of CR in intergroup contexts. The proposed randomized controlled trial compares the effects of short-term mindfulness training vs reappraisal training in a group of self-reported Democratic U.S. voters. Intergroup negative emotions will be experimentally induced via pro-Trump video stimuli. The effects of training will be examined on neural and self-report indexes of negative intergroup emotion, explicit beliefs about outgroup (pro-Trump) attitude malleability, and willingness to engage with a political outgroup (pro-Trump) member.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Hadley Rahrig is a predoctoral candidate pursuing a career in social affective neuroscience. Her graduate research contributions have broadly focused on studying the role of mindfulness in intra- and inter-personal … MORE