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Press report regarding Brown University research has some serious problems

Hal Roth of Brown University has shared a comment (please see below) regarding the previous version of the current post. He wrote:

I am a co-author of the above study.

The Press summary of the study is seriously erroneous and incredibly oversimplified.

The Study did NOT conclude that men were not affected by studying mindfulness techniques and that they should, instead, study moving meditations. That is totally false.

Both the young men and young women in the study showed marked improvements in their ability to focus their attention; in other words in their abilities to concentrate as a result of taking a 12 week university course of academic study of contemplative texts and relevant contemplative practices. BTW there were at least 4 different courses included in this study over 4 years.

Where they differed was in how their emotional reactivity was affected. Young women showed marked improvements in reduced self criticism and improvements in negative affect. Young men did not demonstrate the same level of improvement.

That’s it. The Press has substantially misrepresented this study. Probably because they only quickly read a summary on the Brown University website and didn’t carefully read it nor read the actual article. That is seriously irresponsible.

Thanks to Mr. Pill for calling attention to problems in the Press reports of our study.

[End]

Comment

The published research article (as distinguished from the Press summary) can be accessed here.

I much appreciate the comment from Hal Roth.

I have deleted the link to the Brown University article. I have also deleted my own response to the Brown University article, taking into account the comment from Hal Roth. From time to time, I encounter situations such as this one. I am delighted to have the opportunity to make such a correction.

 

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One Response to Press report regarding Brown University research has some serious problems

  1. Hal Roth says:

    I am a co-author of the above study.

    The Press summary of the study is seriously erroneous and incredibly oversimplified.
    The Study did NOT conclude that men were not affected by studying mindfulness techniques and that they should, instead, study moving meditations. That is totally false.

    Both the young men and young women in the study showed marked improvements in their ability to focus their attention; in other words in their abilities to concentrate as a result of taking a 12 week university course of academic study of contemplative texts and relevant contemplative practices. BTW there were at least 4 different courses included in this study over 4 years.

    Where they differed was in how their emotional reactivity was affected. Young women showed marked improvements in reduced self criticism and improvements in negative affect. Young men did not demonstrate the same level of improvement.

    That’s it. The Press has substantially misrepresented this study. Probably because they only quickly read a summary on the Brown University website and didn’t carefully read it nor read the actual article. That is seriously irresponsible.

    Thanks to Mr. Pill for calling attention to problems in the Press reports of our study.

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