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IMPACT OF MENTAL FATIGUE ON MINDFULNESS AND WMC 1 Investigating Mental Fatigue as a Moderator for the Relationship between Mindfulness and Working Memory Capacity School of Psychological Sciences Monash University Student ID: Statistics and Research Design for Professional Psychology (PSY4401) Graduate Diploma of Psychology – Advanced Date of Submission: 29 May 2021 Word Count: 1405
IMPACT OF MENTAL FATIGUE ON MINDFULNESS AND WMC 2 Investigating Mental Fatigue as a Moderator for the Relationship between Mindfulness and Working Memory Capacity There is a growing body of research touting the positive impact of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Mindfulness has been shown to provide significant benefits in a variety of areas such as improving symptoms of medical illnesses, symptoms of anxiety and stress, and Depression (Im, et al., 2021). It also has been shown to be beneficial in increasing working memory capacity (Jha, et al., 2010). Working memory capacity is what allows us to retain information over a short period of time (Im, et al., 2021), allowing us to function effectively in our work place, as well as society. Individuals with low working memory capacity have been found to have more frequent emotionally intrusive thoughts and to be less able to regulate their emotions (Jha, et al., 2010). Thus, some researchers are beginning to draw conclusions that those with lower working memory capacity may be at a higher risk for negative mental health outcomes (Jha, et al., 2010). Due to these potentially negative outcomes, it is important that we understand what could potentially help us build working memory capacity, as well as what may hinder our efforts. There has been research as to how the length of mindfulness training can strengthen the impact on working memory capacity (Jha, et al., 2010), but little has been done to investigate how this might be affected by mental fatigue. Mental fatigue can be caused by repetitive tasks or prolonged attention load. Mental fatigue is commonly endured by individuals who work in technology related jobs that require the constant monitoring of activity on computer monitors (Faber, Maurits, & Lorist, 2012). As some of these industries are continuing to grow, it is clear the interaction between mindfulness and mental fatigue on working memory capacity is an area of research that should be further investigated. Working memory is defined as the ability to retain information during a short period, as well as to update old information with new and more relevant information (Im, et al., 2021). Working memory differs from long-term memory in that information in the working memory declines rapidly when it is not being continually studied so that it can be stored by
IMPACT OF MENTAL FATIGUE ON MINDFULNESS AND WMC 3 the long-term memory (Im, et al., 2021). Working memory is a multifaceted cognitive system which includes both attention and memory functions responsible for processing informational input, especially in reasoning and problem-solving situations (Dubert, et al., 2016). Attention can be defined as the ability to direct one’s cognitive resources towards a stimulus.

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