The Effect of a 3-Minute Mindfulness Intervention, and the Mediating Role of Maximization, on Critical Incident Decision-Making

Shortland, Neil D, McGarry, Presley, Thompson, Lisa, Stevens, Catherine and Alison, Laurence J
(2021) The Effect of a 3-Minute Mindfulness Intervention, and the Mediating Role of Maximization, on Critical Incident Decision-Making. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 12. 674694-.

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<h4>Objective</h4>In this study, we extend the impact of mindfulness to the concept of least-worst decision-making. Least-worst decisions involve high-uncertainty and require the individual to choose between a number of potentially negative courses of action. Research is increasingly exploring least-worst decisions, and real-world events (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) show the need for individuals to overcome uncertainty and commit to a least-worst course of action. From sports to business, researchers are increasingly showing that "being mindful" has a range of positive performance-related benefits. We hypothesized that mindfulness would improve least-worst decision-making because it would increase self-reflection and value identification. However, we also hypothesized that trait maximization (the tendency to attempt to choose the "best" course of action) would negatively interact with mindfulness.<h4>Methods</h4>Three hundred and ninety-eight participants were recruited using Amazon MTurk and exposed to a brief mindfulness intervention or a control intervention (listening to an audiobook). After this intervention, participants completed the Least-Worst Uncertain Choice Inventory for Emergency Responders (LUCIFER).<h4>Results</h4>As hypothesized, mindfulness increased decision-making speed and approach-tendencies. Conversely, for high-maximizers, increased mindfulness caused a slowing of the decision-making process and led to more avoidant choices.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study shows the potential positive and negative consequences of mindfulness for least-worst decision-making, emphasizing the critical importance of individual differences when considering both the effect of mindfulness and interventions aimed at improving decision-making.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision-making, mindfulness, maximization, uncertainty, individual differences
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 10:43
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:19
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.674694
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