Meditation vs. Relaxation Techniques in a Higher Education Course Requiring Extreme Attentional Resources by Amparo Jiménez-Ivars & Daniel Pinazo-Calatayud

College students do not only need to acquire professional competences—they also have to prepare to eventually manage career stress without loss of focus. In this context, a growing interest is taking shape towards the integration of mindfulness into the education system through meditation techniques. This study focused on two activities that require high cognitive load processing under stressful conditions: simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of final examinations. Interpreting of 302 undergraduate students’ performances were assessed after two different pedagogical interventions: relaxation techniques, mindfulness training and a control group. Results suggest that focused attention meditation techniques related to mindfulness are more beneficial than relaxation techniques for tasks requiring extreme attentional resources.