For Smarter Life, Go For Mindful Meditation

Published: 13th February 2014 01:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2014 01:24 PM   |  A+A-


Performing a 15-minute focused breathing meditation can help you make smart choices at home or workplace.

“Most people have trouble admitting they were wrong when their initial decisions lead to undesirable outcomes,” said researcher Andrew Hafenbrack, lead author on the new research and doctoral candidate at INSEAD - one of the worlds leading and largest graduate business schools.

This behaviour is driven by what behavioural scientists call the 'sunk-cost bias'.
They do not want to feel wasteful or that their initial investment was a loss.

Ironically, this kind of thinking often causes people to waste or lose more resources in an attempt to regain their initial investment or try to break even, he added.

Hafenbrack and colleagues found that mindfulness meditation - which cultivates awareness of the present moment and clears the mind of other thoughts - may help to counteract this deep-rooted bias.

"We found that a brief period of mindfulness meditation can encourage people to make more rational decisions by considering the information available in the present moment,” explained Hafenbrack.

Hafenbrack conducted four studies to test the idea that mindfulness meditation could improve decision-making.

The results show that mindfulness meditation increased resistance to the sunk-cost bias in these experiments.

"Meditation reduced how much people focused on the past and future, and this psychological shift led to less negative emotion. The reduced negative emotion then facilitated their ability to let go of sunk costs,” said co-author Zoe Kinias.

“Our findings hold great promise for research on how mindfulness can influence emotions and behaviour, and how employees can use it to feel and perform better,” added another co-author Sigal Barsade.

The findings were published in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


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