Mindfulness ‘helps students recall lectures better’, study claims

Undergraduate students who engaged in 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation before a lecture were better able to recall its contents, according to a study. Times Higher Education reports.

Researchers at Birmingham City University gave one group of 35 students mindfulness meditation assistance and another group of 35 an audiobook to listen to before a lecture. Afterwards, the students were quizzed about the lecture’s contents.  

Participants placed in the mindfulness meditation group recalled significantly more information than participants who listened to the audiobook, the study found.

Michael Mantzios, lecturer in health psychology at Birmingham City and one of the authors on the paper, said the research showed that mindfulness was a helpful tool for students. “We found that students who display higher levels of mindfulness will perform better at university,” he added.

There have been studies that suggest that mindfulness is a useful way to combat stress among students and to help them concentrate better, and some universities in the UK have begun offering classes or training in mindfulness.

“We need more tools to improve mental health and well-being to help students cope and become more resilient and to actually build better employees for the market out there,” he said.

His belief in the usefulness of mindfulness was reinforced after he tried the techniques himself, Dr Mantzios added. “Some academics object to the methodology or sample size of mindfulness studies; we can easily overcome that by doing more research and better controlling it,” he said. “However, a lot of critics don’t understand the basics or foundation of mindfulness, and there’s not a lot we can do about that.”

Dr Mantzios and his team have also produced a piece of research, which is currently under review, about how the mindfulness of students could affect National Student Survey scores.

Read more Mindfulness ‘helps students recall lectures better’, study claims

Has your school used mindfulness techniques? Did it help pupils behaviour and work? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Titter ~ Tamsin

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