It’s interesting to see research backing up what a lot of people who regularly meditate already know. I’m also interested in the suggestion that people take “mental time out” before making decisions: this is what people who are naturaly reflectors do, and I’ve found that they often come back with the best ideas and thoughts if they’re allowed the space they need.
Brief meditation sessions can reduce the tendency to base current decisions on past “sunk costs,” which are not relevant to the present choice, reported Wharton’s Sigal Barsade, with Andrew C. Hafenbrack and Zoe Kinias both of INSEAD.
“Sunk-cost bias” is the prevalent tendency to continue unsuccessful actions after time and money have been invested.
Frequent examples include:
- Holding poorly-performing stock market investments
- Staying in abusive interpersonal relationships
- Continuing failing military engagements.
In these cases, people tend to focus on past behaviors rather than current circumstances, leading to emotion-driven decision biases.
Meditation practices can:
- Enable increased focus on the present moment
- Shift attention away from past and future actions
- Reduce negative emotions.
Barsade, Hafenbrack, and Kinias asked volunteers to complete Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, a widely used trait-mindfulness scale developed by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Kirk Brown and Richard…
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