Professors win grant to study meditation effects
Three faculty members from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California — Fran Grace, professor of Religion, Lisa Olson, associate professor of Biology, and Celine Ko, assistant professor of Psychology — have received a grant of $5,000 to fund research on the “Impact of Meditation Curriculum on Physiological and Psychosocial Stress, Well-Being, and Correlates of Academic Success.”
The grant will allow faculty members to explore the relationship between meditation, and the physical and psychological side effects of stress.
The grant was awarded by The Trust for the Meditation Process.
The research project will focus on studying previous observations from Professor Fran Grace’s meditation-based Seminar on Compassion in the Religious Studies department. The research demonstrated that students who participate in meditation show signs of improved academic achievement, are more resilient to stress and achieve an increased sense of well-being. Research will be conducted on two groups of students, a portion of those who are enrolled in the spring section of Fran Grace’s Compassion course and a control group of a select amount of students.
The group of professors we will be measuring traditional clinical outcomes such as student anxiety, depression, perceived stress, and affective states; physiological responses to stress such as nervous system activity, stress hormone, and cardiac and respiratory parameters; and psychological measures of well-being, personal growth, compassion, mindful attention and awareness, dispositional optimism, subjective happiness and other potential correlates to academic success. The study is intended to collect pilot data for a larger longitudinal study.