A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation

Hooria Jazaieri, Kelly McGonigal, Thupten Jinpa, James R. Doty, James J. Gross, Philip R Goldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Compassion is a positive orientation towards suffering that may be enhanced through compassion training and is thought to influence psychological functioning. However, the effects of compassion training on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation are not known. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in which 100 adults from the community were randomly assigned to either a 9-week compassion cultivation training (CCT) or a waitlist (WL) control condition. Participants completed self-report inventories that measured mindfulness, positive and negative affect, and emotion regulation. Compared to WL, CCT resulted in increased mindfulness and happiness, as well as decreased worry and emotional suppression. Within CCT, the amount of formal meditation practiced was related to reductions in worry and emotional suppression. These findings suggest that compassion cultivation training effects cognitive and emotion factors that support psychological flexible and adaptive functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Compassion
  • Emotion
  • Emotion regulation
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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