Effects of Zen meditation on anxiety reduction and perceptual functioning

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Assigned 72 Ss (undergraduates and volunteer university employees) to 3 treatment groups: Zen meditation, antimeditation (control), or no-treatment (control). Cells were balanced for locus of control, sex, and volunteer-S pool status. Training took place over a 1-wk period in the laboratory to ensure compliance. Daily logs suggested that appropriate experiences were achieved. Measures of self-reported anxiety, the Trait Anxiety scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Epstein-Fenz Manifest Anxiety Scale showed a decrease after meditation, but no more of a decrease than the 2 control groups. State anxiety after stress showed no effect of meditation. Measures of perceptual functioning from the Holtzman Inkblot Test and the Embedded Figures Test showed no differential improvement as a result of meditation. Locus of control and sex were not related to outcome but volunteer status was, suggesting a personality or motivational influence. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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