Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2016

Major Department or Program



Thomas Armstrong, PhD


The cognitive mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of mindfulness are unclear. Reappraisal, the cognitive process of reinterpreting a situation in a more adaptive way, may be enhanced during mindfulness training. First, we hypothesized that a brief mindfulness treatment would enhance reappraisal skills. Second, we hypothesized that mindfulness, through its effects on reappraisal, would improve overall mood following the viewing of a sad film clip. Participants (N = 58) from a private northwestern liberal arts college were assigned to either a brief mindfulness training (n = 31) or a brief sham treatment (n = 27). Prior to treatment, participants viewed a sad film clip and rated their mood, in order to establish baseline emotional reactivity, and heir reappraisal and suppression use, in order to establish baseline emotion regulation tendencies. Following treatment, participants received instructions to reappraise another sad film clip. A mixed-effect 2 (condition: mindfulness training, control) X 2 (time: pre-treatment, post-treatment) ANOVA was used to determine whether individuals in the mindfulness training condition showed an increase in reappraisal compared to individuals in the control condition. There was a significant interaction between condition and time, as the mindfulness treatment significantly increased reappraisal scores from time one to time two, whereas the sham treatment had no effect. A mediation model was used to test the second hypothesis. A mediational relationship was not found, as both mindfulness and reappraisal did not have effects on mood response. Implications for understanding cognitive mechanisms involved in mindfulness and streamlining treatments will be discussed.

Keywords: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Reappraisal, Mood

Page Count


Subject Headings

Mood (Psychology) -- Psychological aspects, Valuation -- Case study -- Reappraisal, Emotions and cognition, Mindfulness -- Dialectical behavior therapy, Emotional states -- Sadness, Valuation -- Case study -- Reappraisal, Psychological studies, Emotion responses, Analysis of Variance -- Methods -- ANOVA, Social sciences, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Psychology Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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Psychology Commons



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