Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Sheila Walker

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© 2018 Emma G. Loftus


This proposed study was inspired by the concept in Aristotle’s virtue ethics theory that a good life is necessarily an ethical one. The following work intends to expand previous literature on this topic by exploring an accessible potential method through which ethicality (and thus, well-being) can be increased, and also a possible explanation of how this process might occur. Past research has indicated that mindfulness training can increase both prosociality and well-being, and additionally that higher ethicality is connected to higher well-being. Reduced self-focus has been found to mediate these relationships. The proposed 30 day study makes use of a daily mindfulness training app to explore its effects on participants’ ethicality and well-being, and examines whether reduced self-focus mediates these potential relationships. Results are expected to show that that, first, increased mindfulness leads to increased ethical behavior, mediated by reduction in self-focus; and second, that increased mindfulness leads to an increase in well-being, mediated both by increased ethical behavior and by reduction in self-focus. Ultimately, the intention of this study is to find support for the benefits of cultivating a more loving and interconnected world, as well as the means by which to do so.