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Mindfulness: Relations with Prejudice, Social Dominance Orientation, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism

  • Adelheid A. M. Nicol
  • Kalee De France


Mindfulness is associated with being less judgmental and with a reduction in feelings of anxiety. It is believed to increase non-judgmental cognitive processing and reduce negative associations as a consequence of automatic processing. We hypothesized that mindfulness is negatively correlated with prejudiced attitudes. In a series of five studies, with sample sizes ranging from 93 to 184, participants from Prolific, psychology research sites, or college completed measures online. We examined the relation of three mindfulness measures, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised, and the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills with three markers of prejudice: attitudes to outgroups, an affective thermometer scale, and social worldviews. The attitudinal instrument focused on stigmatized groups, such as newcomers, homeless persons, handicapped individuals, and Blacks. The affective thermometer measured feelings of warmth to individuals classified as dissident, derogated, or dangerous. The two social worldviews assessed were Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism, both associated with prejudice. Few significant associations were found. The only significant associations found were between the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, and Social Dominance Orientation. These findings provide little support for the relation between trait mindfulness and attitudinal expressions of prejudice.


Mindfulness trait Prejudice Attitudes to outgroups Social dominance orientation Right-wing authoritarianism 


Author Contributions

AAMN: designed and executed the study, wrote the Introduction and General Discussion, and edited the Method, Results, and Discussion for each study. KDF: put the studies on Survey Monkey; analyzed the data; wrote the Method, Results, and Discussion for each study; and collaborated in editing the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the Department of National Defence Canadian Defence Academy Research Program (2015–2017).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Royal Military College’s Research Ethics Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Nicol has received research grants from the Department of National Defence Canadian Defence Academy Research Program (2015–2017). Kalee De France declares that she has no conflict of interest.

The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this article are solely those of the authors and should not be construed as official Department of National Defence policy, position, or decision.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Military Psychology and Leadership DepartmentThe Royal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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