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Dr. May awarded the Peace research grant

25 November 2020
Chris May
Dr. Chris May

Our warm congrats to Dr. Chris May (pictured) and Dr. Marieke van Vugt (Faculty of Science and Engineering) for having been awarded a $25000 PEACE grant from the Mind and Life Institute. Their grant, designated as the inaugural Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Grant, will fund a two-year research project examining the psychological and neural mechanisms mediating the interpersonal effects of meditation practice.


Read the abstract of their project here:

"Research has begun to show that the benefits of meditation practice can extend beyond the individual to influence the well-being of others. An important next step in the field is to look at how this happens. We will therefore examine how participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course impacts the amount of negative emotions, specifically, of a non-participating relationship partner. We will do this using both first- and third-person methods. We will administer daily and weekly surveys to both members of a relationship to investigate how changes in an MBSR participant’s emotions, (interpersonal) mindfulness, and relationship perceptions may be associated with similar changes in the non-meditating partner. As an objective measure of social relationship, we will further investigate changes in the correlation of brain activity within couples, while they are collaborating on a well-controlled yet realistic task. Results will be compared to an active-control condition in which one member of a relationship participates in a course on happiness and fulfilment. This will enable us to isolate the specific impact of meditation practice relative to more general improvements in well-being. Combined, this research program aims to stimulate innovative interventions which can improve an individual’s well-being through their relational connections."

Last modified:02 December 2020 4.57 p.m.

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