Nov 2, 2018

Bad Science?

Many of the studies touting meditation and mindfulness benefits are not methodologically sound.
Matthew Abrahams
Tricycle
WINTER 2018

Many of the studies touting meditation and mindfulness benefits are not methodologically sound.

"It seems as if every day a new article is published promoting the benefits of meditation. According to the litany of reports, meditation can help with stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, and can even make you a better, more compassionate person. But according to a 2018 meta-analysis of meditation studies, the science behind these claims is plagued by methodological flaws."

"The analysis—“The limited prosocial effects of meditation: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” written by Ute Kreplin, Miguel Farias, and Inti A. Brazil and presented in the open-access journal Scientific Reports—looked at studies of the supposed prosocial effects of meditation, such as increasing compassion, connectedness, and empathy, or decreasing aggression and prejudice. They found that “the methodological quality of the studies was generally weak (61%), while one third (33%) was graded as moderate, and none had a grading of strong.” Other investigations, including a 2015 analysis of lovingkindness meditation studies published in the journal Mindfulness and a 2014 lovingkindness study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found similar results. And a 2009 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that results from studies purporting to show the benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques also suffered from methodological flaws."

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