Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Kirk Warren Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Joy Hirsch

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Berry

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Christopher Reina

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Maureen Mathews

Sixth Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Green


The U.S. continues to show an upward trend in political polarization, perceived as a moral divide between liberal and conservative ideological groups. This moralization of political identity has contributed to the escalation of negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, and hatred) directed towards political outgroup members. Although negative emotions are potent motivators of political intolerance, these emotions are nevertheless subject to regulation. Mindfulness offers a promising yet understudied emotion regulation strategy which may facilitate open receptivity towards opposing partisans. The present randomized controlled trial (RCT) examines the effects of short-term mindfulness training (MT) vs structurally equivalent Cognitive Reappraisal training (CT) on the regulation of political intergroup negative affect using an ecologically-situated naturalistic neuorimaging paradigm. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) neural synchrony effects coupled with emotion reactivity ratings reveal an ostensible pathway for the mindful regulation of negative intergroup emotion.


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