Friday, February 16, 2018 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Competitive Meditation: A Game-Based Mindfulness Approach to Reducing Anxiety in Students

Paul Barclay, M.A.

Abstract: Mindfulness is generally defined by paying attention in a certain way: present-centered, purposeful, and non-judgmentally.  Training to improve mindfulness has seen a rise in popularity and applicability in recent years across a variety of medical, clinical, and non-clinical settings. As a skill, mindfulness is generally trained using meditative practices which are similar to those practiced in Buddhism but recently a number of interactive and game-based meditation tools have been developed to help bring mindfulness to the masses. This talk will focus on two studies conducted with one such tool, Meditation Deathmatch, a game which pits two players against one another in competitive meditation to determine which player can "Relax Harder."  First, a feasibility study which assessed the construct validity, usability, and user acceptance of Meditation Deathmatch as an adjunct to mindfulness-based meditation.  Second, a small-scale clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of Meditation Deathmatch as an intervention for test anxiety in a sample of undergraduate students. 

Biography: Paul Barclay holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston and an M.A. in Psychology from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.  He was awarded a Presidential Fellowship for Ph.D. studies in the Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology Program at UCF, where he is a member of the RETRO lab.  His previous research has involved technologically-assisted cognitive retraining for problem behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse.  His current research interests include the use of VR and gaming technologies for psychological and neuropsychological assessment, user experience, and gamification of learning.


PSY 301Q: 301Q *

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