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Mindfulness and Appearance Self-Esteem May Reduce Cognitive Dissonance: Potential Implications for Academic Self-Esteem and Performance

Sat, April 10, 2:30 to 4:00pm EDT (2:30 to 4:00pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Social and Emotional Learning Paper and Symposium Sessions


Voluntary counterattitudinal behavior increases psychological discomfort and positive self-attributes buffer it, while brief mindfulness exercises tend reduce negative affect in response to psychologically unpleasant stimuli and improve academic self-concept and performance in school settings relative to control groups. From a sample of 122 HBCU undergraduates, the following was investigated: relative to mind-wandering controls, would a mindfulness exercise reduce the discomfort associated with high-choice (vs. low-choice) counterattitudinal behavior, and would this effect be more likely among those with higher self-esteem? Results revealed that, relative to mind-wandering controls, mindful participants reported lower discomfort following voluntary counterattitudinal behavior, and appearance self-esteem moderated this effect. The potential benefits of brief mindfulness exercises in response to academic challenges, particularly those with self-relevant meaning, are discussed.