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Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators

Antonova, Elena; Amaratunga, Kavitha; Wright, Bernice; Ettinger, Ulrich; Kumari, Veena


Elena Antonova

Kavitha Amaratunga

Ulrich Ettinger

Veena Kumari


Despite growing evidence for demonstrated efficacy of mindfulness in various disorders, there is a continuous concern about the relationship between mindfulness practice and psychosis. As schizotypy is part of the psychosis spectrum, we examined the relationship between long-term mindfulness practice and schizotypy in two independent studies. Study 1 included 24 experienced mindfulness practitioners (19 males) from the Buddhist tradition (meditators) and 24 meditation-naïve individuals (all males). Study 2 consisted of 28 meditators and 28 meditation-naïve individuals (all males). All participants completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (Raine, 1991), a self-report scale containing 9 subscales (ideas of reference, excessive social anxiety, magical thinking, unusual perceptual experiences, odd/eccentric behavior, no close friends, odd speech, constricted affect, suspiciousness). Participants of study 2 also completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire which assesses observing (Observe), describing (Describe), acting with awareness (Awareness), non-judging of (Non-judgment) and non-reactivity to inner experience (Non-reactivity) facets of trait mindfulness. In both studies, meditators scored significantly lower on suspiciousness and higher on magical thinking compared to meditation-naïve individuals and showed a trend towards lower scores on excessive social anxiety. Excessive social anxiety correlated negatively with Awareness and Non-judgment; and suspiciousness with Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity facets across both groups. The two groups did not differ in their total schizotypy score. We conclude that mindfulness practice is not associated with an overall increase in schizotypal traits. Instead, the pattern suggests that mindfulness meditation, particularly with an emphasis on the Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity aspects, may help to reduce suspiciousness and excessive social anxiety.


Antonova, E., Amaratunga, K., Wright, B., Ettinger, U., & Kumari, V. (2016). Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators. Schizophrenia Research: Cognition, 5, 1-6.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 6, 2016
Online Publication Date May 31, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 12, 2018
Journal Schizophrenia Research: Cognition
Print ISSN 2215-0013
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Pages 1-6
Keywords Schizotypy; Mindfulness; Suspiciousness; Social anxiety
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Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators; Journal Title: Schizophrenia Research: Cognition; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.


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