Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation: Mindfulness and the Sunk-Cost Bias

Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation: Mindfulness and the Sunk-Cost Bias

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Mindfulness meditation is a growth of person`s perception at the present time and some people think is a unique way to overcome anxiety and discover greater wisdom in our minds. A person who practices this meditation tries to get rid of any unwanted thoughts, concentrate on present ones, focus on attention and breathing. Some contemporary psychotherapists suggest that we can train our mind by practicing mindfulness meditation. Often almost all people catch themselves on thoughts that transfers from the present to the past and future. This is called mind wandering. This can be very distracting when a person tries to focus on certain task. Naturally, people who experience less mind wandering demonstrated greater mindfulness, and previous studies showed that practicing mindfulness meditation even for eight minutes can increase and mind wandering will decrease (Hafenbrack, 2013).
In the study Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation: Mindfulness and the Sunk-Cost Bias, the researchers investigate how mindfulness meditation affects our sunk cost biases, which means tendency of people to continue investing money, time, or effort in something only because they invested a lot of money, time, or effort already (Hafenbrack, 2013). By definition sunk cost situation is an event that happened in the past, so when we do not come back to the past in our thoughts, under the law of equilibrium our thoughts are more focused on the present time which positively affects our attention and decision making. Recent studies too showed that thinking about future events (that might not even happen) can negatively affect people`s attention in the present time because they "are influenced by emotions they expect to experience in the future" (Hafenbrack, 2013)....

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... according to Dr. Jonathan Schooler, from the University of Santa Barbara in California's department of psychological and brain sciences, "Mind wandering seems to be very useful for planning and creative thought" (Gargiulo, 2013). In addition, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman (professor of psychology at New York University) stated that problem solving, creativity, goal driven thought, future planning, seeing the perspective of another person need a space in our brain to occur. In support, in the article The Costs and Benefits of Mind-Wandering: A Review, there was a study conducted that reveals the crucial role of mind wandering in problem solving, planning, creativity (Mooneyham, 2013). In this article the author questions whether mind wandering is the real cause of big mistakes we do. It is clear that such phenomena as mind wandering deserves deeper analysis and studying.

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