Date of Award
Dr. Brian Day
Rev. Daniel Meyers
This study explored the relationship between mindfulness meditation practice and student perceptions of religious pluralism. One hundred and eleven Butler University students were recruited using SONA, an online psychology research participation management system, and in-person presentation/professor encouragement in the PWB Mindfulness in Everyday Life course. The study was conducted via a survey shared with the PWB class and SONA participants. I predicted that participants who consistently practice mindfulness meditation would have stronger perceptions that promote the values of respect, relationships, and common action that are associated with religious pluralism. Specifically, I predicted that participants who have consistently (at least 7 weeks) practiced meditation as a part of the PWB mindfulness meditation course (PG) would display more openness to the values of respect, relationship building, and common action than the control participants not in the class and without consistent practice (CG). Thus, the independent variables (consistent mindfulness meditation vs. not) were used to understand the impact on mean scores of the agreement towards values of respect, relationship-building, and common action. Participants in PG displayed more openness to the values of respect and relationship-building than those in CG. However, there were no significant differences in openness between participants of PG and CG for the value of common action. These findings will illustrate the potential role of mindfulness meditation practice on how plurally students perceive others from backgrounds different than their own. Future studies and analyses need to replicate the findings of this study with larger sample sizes and go beyond assessing perceptions to measuring the consequent actions of participants.
Patel, Meet A., "Being Mindfully Pluralistic: The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Student Perceptions of Religious Pluralism" (2023). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 705.