Traditional contemplative perspectives emphasize social benefits of mindfulness
and meditation, yet little research has investigated their social implications. Social situations involve distinct challenges for regulating affect, including the involvement of others’ emotions. This presentation briefly summarizes our prior lab-based work demonstrating that trait mindfulness predicts neural and behavioral responses consistent with efficient top-down attention to and discrimination of others’ emotions. I then discuss a new study examining mindful emotion regulation in real-life social contexts. In 36 romantic couples, we assessed each partner’s trait mindfulness and Emotional Go/No-Go performance prior to experience sampling of emotions and felt connection with others during social interactions. Concurrent actor-partner analyses revealed that Emotional Go/No-Go performance mediated the relation between mindfulness and emotional well-being in real-life social interactions, and emotional well-being mediated the relation between mindfulness and felt social connection. Results suggest that mindful attention to one’s own and others’ emotions supports emotional well-being and felt connection with others in daily social life. These findings, bridging lab-based and real-life measures of social experience, offer an empirical foundation for advancing research on benefits of contemplative training for self and other.

Jordan Quaglia, PhD

Naropa University

Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

Jordan Quaglia, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Cognitive and Affective Science Laboratory, and Research Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa … MORE