Fourth year PhD Candidate Yian Xu and her research assistants’ poster about using mindfulness meditation as an intervention for an essentialist bias was not only one of the twenty-five Research, Innovation, & Scholarship Expo (RISE) finalists, but also won two RISE awards! Yian and her research team won both the Graduate Social Sciences, Business and Law category, as well as the Scholarship Award. Congratulations to Yian and her research assistants, Natalia Chavez and Eliza Grossman!


Mindfulness practices was shown to increase self-reported empathy and compassion (e.g., Shapiro, Schwartz & Bonner, 1998; Neff & Germer, 2013), as well as to increase daily reported positive emotions, positive relations with others and perceived social connections (Fredrickson et al., 2008; Kok et al., 2013). Yian and her research team want to explore if mindfulness meditation might diminish the essentialist beliefs that may lead to social stereotyping.


Results from this research will help us find an accessible intervention for reducing stereotyping and enable people to make more accurate, and fair judgments of others.


This research is in collaboration with Professor Paul Condon (University of South Oregon) and Daniel Lim from the Social Emotions Lab at Northeastern.