Understanding contemplative practices from the perspective of dual-process theories

Barsalou, L. (2017) Understanding contemplative practices from the perspective of dual-process theories. In: Karremans, J. and Papies, E. (eds.) Mindfulness in Social Psychology. Series: Current issues in social psychology. Routledge. ISBN 9781138646131

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After briefly reviewing the history of dual-process theories in cognitive and social psychology, this chapter explores implications of the dual-process perspective for Buddhist contemplative practices, including mindfulness. On the one hand, the impulsive and habitual processes in dual-process theories offer a natural account of the phenomena that contemplative practices address (e.g., craving, negative emotion, self-interest, mind wandering). On the other hand, the regulatory and reflective processes in dual-process theories offer insightful perspective into how contemplative practices modulate these phenomena. Additionally, dual-process theories offer useful accounts of the constant interplay between habitual and regulatory processing in everyday life, and how contemplative practices establish healthy new cognitive, affective, and behavioral habits that replace less healthy well-entrenched ones. In turn, contemplative practices—especially the collection of Buddhist practices known as the Eight- Fold Path—provide insight into the nature of habitual processing, and offer provocative ideas for developing interventions to change it.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barsalou, Professor Lawrence
Authors: Barsalou, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Routledge
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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