how would you design a study that attempts to determine if focused meditation can reduce a person's heart rate?

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Based on this unit's assigned reading from Bonita, Beaglehole, & Kjellström, how would you design a study that attempts to determine if focused meditation can reduce a person's heart rate? Describe the study design you would use. Also, identify a potential error and ethical issue that might be relevant. I have attached the reading material.

Classmate Post #1

I would design a study with about 150 people. I would tell them that the study is based on focused meditation and we will use this the best way by breathing techniques. They will be monitored over a period of time and see how they perform certain task after this has been down. In the group I would have 75 that are considered experiences meditators and the other half will be non-meditators. Everyone would have to take an EKG scan to show the heart rates and the way that information is received. With this I would use ecological studies to find the relationship between heart rate and mediation. If I had to identify a potential error it would have to be results without a clear relaxed mind will fast increase the heart rate even with thoughts of meditation. Lack of control to understand the thought process of a clear minds during meditation or thoughts of distraction especially from the non-meditators.

Classmate Post #2

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg states that to change our lives we must change

our habits and rewire our thinking. It takes 21 days to cement a new habit, so this study will be built around 60 days.

Burden: Assess risk of an elevated heart rate

Cause: Stress and/ or inability to control stress induced response

Efficiency: Time out of person’s day. Monetarily free

Implementation: Obtain grant from American Heart Association or private funding

Monitoring and Measuring: Data will be measured at baseline, 7 days, 15 days, 30 days & 60. Collate data & report

Hypothesis: Will practicing focused meditation daily lower the heart rate?

Sample size: 150. Split into each category noted below

Sample type: Ages 20- 50. Split between men, women and transgender. Meditation times of 5”per day. Sample cities: Boston, New Orleans, Madison and Sacramento

Data collected at intake: Baseline heart rate. Completion of questionnaire on perceived levels of stress, time of day participant feels most stressed.

Study expectations: No prior meditation experience. Meditate for time frame participant is allotted into. Subsequent evaluations will occur at 7, 15, 30 and 60 days. Input data into smart phone APP. No medications or alcohol consumption while participating in the study. Mandatory attendance at seminar start up for educational sessions on focused meditation and data input. Be able to join a weekly webinar to discuss progress or difficulties

Participant education: How to meditate. Smart phone APP set up, data input into APP. How to access webinars.

Study parameters: Must own a smart phone for data input

Smart phone data input: Time of day. Perceived stress level before & after meditation. Heart rate before and after meditation.

Analysis program: ANOVA testing will be utilized to comb through the data.

Potential errors: Data entry errors. Participant honesty in reporting. Participants feel so good meditating for the allotted time frame that they meditate longer periods of time. Alcohol consumption or legal/ illegal medications are consumed.

Ethical issues: Use of smart phone APP, if not set up correctly, could cause breaches in phone information and privacy.


Gutierrez, D., Fox, J., Andrew, W.W. (2015). Center, Light and Sound: The Physiological Benefits of

Three Distinct Meditative Practices. Counseling and Values, 60 (2), 234-247.

Sincerely, Holly

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School: UT Austin


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