Effects of mindfulness on aggression following social rejection
Heppner, Whitney Lane
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Mindful people are attentive to what is going on around them without being judgmental (Brown & Ryan, 2003) and without being concerned about their self-esteem. In this study, I examined the possibility that being mindful would decrease aggressiveness following social rejection (Twenge, Baumeister, Tice & Stucke, 2001). I hypothesized that a mindfulness induction performed before receiving social rejection feedback would reduce later aggression, making aggression level similar to participants who received acceptance feedback. Planned comparisons showed that mean aggression levels between acceptance (M= -.623) and rejection (M= .725) conditions were significantly different (p<.01), and the difference between mindful-rejected (M= -.173) and rejection conditions was marginally significant (p<.06). Importantly, aggression in the acceptance and mindfulness conditions did not differ (p>.33). These results suggest that mindfulness can reduce the sting of social rejection by activating a relatively low level of ego-involvement.