The effect of meditation on metacognitive ability, working memory ability, academic achievement, and stress levels

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Suwit Uopasai
Tassanee Bunterm
Keow Ngang Tang
Chuleeporn Saksangawong


This research assesses the impact of meditation training on the learning abilities of undergraduate students. The existing literature reveals that meditation can improve sleep, reduce stress, help people cope with anxiety, increase happiness, boost self-esteem, overcome depression and anger, and improve concentration. It therefore has the potential to solve undergraduate students’ learning problems. A quasi-experimental pretest and posttest research design was utilized to examine changes in the metacognitive ability, academic achievement, working memory ability, and stress levels of undergraduate students in a public university in Thailand following a meditation intervention. The sample comprised 60 healthy undergraduate students without neurological or psychiatric problems who were right-handed and had corrected-to-normal vision. The participants were randomly selected and equally distributed into control and experimental groups, the latter of whom participated in the meditation training program.
Three research instruments: Metacognitive Awareness Inventory, Thai Working
Memory Computerized Battery Test, and SPST-20 were employed to measure metacognitive ability, working memory ability, and stress levels, respectively. A univariate analysis was performed to determine whether the response variables were altered by the meditation. Initial results revealed no significant differences between the two groups in their metacognitive ability, working memory ability, academic achievement, and stress levels before the intervention. Following the intervention, significant differences were observed in all four dependent variables, including an improvement in metacognitive and working memory abilities and a reduction in stress levels. Furthermore, the experimental group exhibited better average academic achievement than the control group. In conclusion, meditation training can successfully promote metacognitive ability, working memory ability, and academic achievement while simultaneously reducing stress levels.


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