Mindfulness might promote an open, accepting, less stereotypical view of people belonging to other social groups. We hypothesized positive cross-sectional (H1) and longitudinal (H2) associations between dispositional mindfulness — especially the Observing facet — and positive intergroup outcomes (i.e., better intergroup attitudes and contact experiences, lower intergroup prejudice, higher deprovincialization), and that those associations would be mediated by dispositional curiosity and reflection (H3).
We tested H1 in Study 1 (two waves, 1-month interval, n = 102) and Study 2 (cross-sectional, n = 679), with linear models in which attitudes and prejudice toward immigrants, contact with immigrants (only in Study 2), and deprovincialization were predicted by mindfulness facets. We tested H2 in Study 1, with cross-lagged path models replicating the cross-sectional analyses, and H3 in Study 2, with structural equation models in which Reflection, Joyous Exploration, Stress Tolerance, and Social Curiosity mediated the relationships between facets of dispositional mindfulness and intergroup outcomes.
Results largely supported hypotheses. Consistent with H1, in Studies 1 and 2, Observing was associated with all intergroup outcomes; in Study 2, Describing was associated with higher deprovincialization, better attitudes, and lower prejudice, and Nonjudging with higher deprovincialization and positive contact. As for H2, we found a unidirectional association from Observing to attitudes. Concerning H3, we found mediating paths between some mindfulness facets and intergroup outcomes through Reflection, Joyous Exploration, Stress Tolerance, and Social Curiosity.
Results support the possibility to build prejudice reduction interventions grounded on mindfulness, to increase awareness of negative stereotypes and openness to differences among people.
The study was not preregistered.