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The observing self: Diminishing egocentrism through brief mindfulness meditation

European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Reflecting the egocentrism that permeates contemporary society, people often believe they stand out in the eyes of others (i.e., the spotlight effect), a conviction that is entirely misplaced. Although considerable efforts have focused on elucidating the consequences of the spotlight effect, much less is known about factors that may attenuate this illusory perception. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that, via shifts in perspectives on the self (i.e., first person vs. third person), brief mindfulness‐based meditation may reduce a future‐oriented variant of this bias. The results revealed that, compared with responses in the control conditions (i.e., control meditation or no mediation), brief mindfulness‐based meditation fostered the adoption of a third‐person vantage point during mental imagery and diminished perceptions of personal salience.