|Institution:||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10270048|
Organizations continue to invest time and money in diversity programs to provide people with the competencies to work effectively in an increasingly diverse workplace. Most programs are based on cognitive theories of behavior change and research however fails to show long-term changes in attitudes and behavior (e.g., Brynes & Kiger, 1990; Hogan & Mallot, 2005; Sanchez & Medkik, 2004). Empirical work on mindfulness demonstrates that greater awareness of the process of ones own thinking, and the process of active categorization has been associated with reductions in stereotypes, prejudice, and the emotional discomfort related to cognitive dissonance (e.g., Djikic et al., 2008; Hayes et al., 2004; Lillis & Hayes, 2007; Kuscera, 2009). Unfortunately, only one study of diversity programs that included a formal mindfulness intervention was found (e.g., Lillis & Hayes, 2007). Given the prevalence of experiential exercises in programs as well as a theoretical argument that can be drawn between Kabat-Zinns (2003) definition of mindfulness and experiential exercises, this study utilized meta-analytical procedures to investigate whether programs that included experiential activities showed stronger and longer lasting positive effects. Results indicated that programs that included experiential activities were indeed correlated with better affective outcomes (i.e., attitudes, feelings, and interracial comfort and tolerance) in academic settings, at least in the short-term. Future recommendations regarding the intentional use of mindfulness interventions are made to further enhance affective outcomes among diversity programs both inside and outside of academia.