Dr. Paul Bueno de Mesquita

Advisor Department





mindfulness meditation; compassion meditation; optimism; stress; peer violence


Meditation is a practice that originated primarily in the Eastern spiritual traditions over twelve thousand years ago. Mindfulness meditation, also called Samatha meditation in Buddhism, is the practice of quieting one’s mind by turning focused attention to the senses currently being experienced, in particular; the breath. This sort of purposeful attention to breath alone creates a feeling of serenity rarely experienced in everyday life due to the quieting of mind in synchronization with the body. Compassion meditation, also called Metta meditation differs in the sense that its main objective is to harness feelings of love, positivity and compassion towards others and oneself. Taking the two practices of compassion meditation and mindfulness meditation the aim of this study is to decipher what types of benefits are derived from each practice respectively. More specifically, what types of effects do these two practices have on a sample of undergraduate college students? Three groups of students were formed; a mindfulness group, a compassion group and a control group. Each of the two meditation groups were to complete a gambit of diagnostic surveys regarding levels of happiness, optimism, mindfulness, attitudes towards peer violence as well as stress levels. Following the completion of these surveys, was a three week meditation treatment program for each of the two meditation groups respectively. Both integrated the used of recorded guided meditations as well as professionally led live meditations. All groups were re-administered the same surveys as a post test to observe changes in scores and the effect of meditation.