Does mindfulness meditation encourage false memories?

Mindfulness meditation has gone mainstream, showing up in the gym, The Real Housewives, even the military, and providing the benefits of physical and mental well-being. But a new study suggests it may create some major vulnerabilities for individuals: the tendency to create false memories.

The study conducted three experiments. For the first, 153 participants were divided into a group practicing mindfulness (accessing thoughts and feelings without judgement) and others who were encouraged to let their minds wander.

Researchers used the DRM paradigm, a popular procedure in cognitive psychology to study false memories. In it, a subject is told a 15-word list (bed, rest, tired, dream, snooze, blanket) and, when asked to remember words from the list, will often recall a non-presented word like “sleep," a memory of something that never occurred.

For this experiment, the researchers used concepts of trash (garbage, waste, can, refuse, sewage, rubbish) but not the word “trash" itself. Participants were then asked to recall as many of the words from the list as they could remember. The results: 39 percent of the mindfulness participants falsely recalled seeing the word “trash" on the list.

Mindfulness may make memories less accurate, the study implies, with people experiencing difficulty determining if experiences are real or only imagined.

“As a result, the same aspects of mindfulness that create countless benefits can also have the unintended negative consequence of increasing false-memory susceptibility," the study concludes.

Does this mean that mindfulness is also just another fad of false promises? A broader conclusion may be that it is if it is administered in scientific studies, or, more likely, taught without consideration for the many other wings of the ancient practice.

Photo by Nickolai Kashirin

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading