IS480 Team wiki: 2015T1 Vulcan Project Overview

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About SMU Mindfulness Initiative

The vision of the SMU Mindfulness Initiative is to make a positive impact on individuals, organizations and society by conducting research, education, and outreach on mindfulness. The initiative brings together various members of the SMU community (faculty, staff, and students) as well as others passionate about studying, teaching, and practicing mindfulness. The initiative engages in activities such as conducting basic and applied research on mindfulness and mindfulness interventions in business and society, developing courses / modules on mindfulness and offering ideas on integrating mindfulness into other course, and providing evidence-based mindfulness courses to organizations on topics such as mindful leadership, among others.

About ReFokus Android Application
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Of late, there has been a lot of interest in the concept of mindfulness and how it can improve well-being and productivity. One way to cultivate mindfulness is through the practice of meditation. Although there is evidence that meditation can reduce stress and depression, much more research is needed—especially research that looks at the effects of meditation in everyday contexts (at home, work, and elsewhere). The Mindfulness Initiative, in collaboration with LiveLabs, has been developing a smartphone app (ReFokus). ReFokus will introduce users to various guided meditation exercises. A novel part of the app is that it doubles as a research assessment tool. Users would be alerted to complete short surveys at various moments through their day. This data would be presented as feedback to the users and help us evaluate whether these exercises really help to improve well-being.