Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Natalie Shook


The present research examined if mindfulness reduced negativity bias on measures of attitude formation and cognitive style, as a potential explanation for the beneficial effects of mindfulness on emotional disturbance. Two studies were conducted. Study One was correlational and found that trait mindfulness inversely correlated with measures of negative cognitive style, and that the latter partially mediated an inverse association between mindfulness and predisposition to depression and anxiety. Further, correlations between mindfulness and both positive attitude formation and optimism hinted at a potential positivity bias. Study Two extended these findings using a randomized experimental design comparing a mindfulness induction to an unfocused attention control condition. The mindfulness condition demonstrated a positivity bias in attitude formation and increased optimism compared to the control condition, but did not demonstrate bias in attitude generalization. Potential explanations and implications for emotional disturbance are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009

Included in

Psychology Commons