Paul W. B. Atkins

Paul W. B. Atkins
Australian Catholic University | ACU · Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

BA (Macq), MCogSci (UNSW), PhD (Cambridge)

About

55
Publications
82,345
Reads
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3,316
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2002 - December 2014
Australian National University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 1993 - November 1995
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Psychology
February 1991 - November 1991
Macquarie University
Field of study
  • Psychology
January 1990 - November 1990
UNSW Sydney
Field of study
  • Cognitive Science

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Ecosystems (natural capital) produce a range of benefits to humans. Natural capital is best thought of as common property since many of the ecosystem services it helps produce are non-rival and/or non-excludable. Private property regimes and markets alone are ineffective and inappropriate institutions to manage them sustainably. These systems can b...
Article
Scenario planning and the use of alternative futures have been used successfully to assist organisations, communities and countries to move towards desired outcomes (Dator, 2009). In this study we used a unique combination of scenario planning and a national public opinion survey to explore preferred futures for Australia in 2050. The approach used...
Article
Full-text available
Mindfulness‐based meditation practices have received substantial scientific attention in recent years. Mindfulness has been shown to bring many psychological benefits to the individual, but much less is known about whether these benefits extend to others. This meta‐analysis reviewed the link between mindfulness – as both a personality variable and...
Article
Full-text available
The Functional Self-Discrimination Measure (FSDM) is a method of coding a speaker's verbal discrimination of their own behavior based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) that predicts wellbeing 6 and 12 months later (Atkins & Styles, 2016). In this study, we replicated our original findings with a new sample, and expanded the coding scheme to include...
Article
Öst's (2014) systematic review and meta-analysis of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has received wide attention. On the basis of his review, Öst argued that ACT research was not increasing in its quality and that, in contradiction to the views of Division 12 of the American Psychological Association (APA), ACT is “not yet well-established f...
Article
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The role of values-based action in facilitating change is central to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy but more peripheral in more traditional mindfulness-based interventions. This paper examined the role of values-based action in the relationship between mindfulness and both eudemonic and hedonic well-being in two samples - an undergraduate sample...
Article
Societies, like individuals, can become addicted to patterns of detrimental and unsustainable behavior. We can learn from one of the most successful therapies at the individual scale, motivational interviewing (MI). MI is based on engaging addicts in a positive discussion of their goals, motives, and futures. One analogy to MI at the societal level...
Article
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Few studies have explored whether mindfulness facilitates more adaptive coping with stress, and the evidence for this is mixed. It may be that mindfulness influences coping responses only among relatively stressed individuals, but this has not been tested. Two randomized controlled experiments (Study 1, N = 204; Study 2, N = 202) tested whether a b...
Article
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There has been a rapid growth in positive psychology, a research and intervention approach that focuses on promoting optimal functioning and well-being. Positive psychology interventions are now making their way into classrooms all over the world. However, positive psychology has been criticized for being decontextualized and coercive, and for putt...
Article
Societies, like individuals, can get trapped in patterns of behavior called social traps or “societal addictions” that provide short-term rewards but are detrimental and unsustainable in the long run. Examples include our societal addiction to inequitable over-consumption fueled by fossil energy and a “growth at all costs” economic model. This pape...
Article
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Theories of mindfulness claim that a state of present-moment awareness enhances self-regulation in the presence of negative emotion. However, very little research has tested this claim in relation to daily stressors. This paper examined whether present-moment awareness during daily stressful events predicted enhanced responding to a) the same day’s...
Article
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Objective: Recent evidence suggests that the way in which individuals relate to their aversive thoughts predicts behavioral effectiveness more than the content of such thoughts. This article is among the first to explore whether this is true for coping with stressful events. Method: Three studies with emerging adults (Study 1, N = 202) and adult...
Article
Full-text available
Relational Frame Theory views the self as verbal discrimination of one's own behavior using deictic framing. We coded interviews similar to those occurring in therapy sessions for occurrences of a conceptualized, experiential or observing sense of self as well as values-oriented or control-oriented self-rules. We then used the frequencies of these...
Article
We reviewed a broad range of scenarios of the future developed for Australia and globally and developed a synthesis for Australia. Our four synthesis scenarios were structured around two axes: (1) individual vs. community orientation and (2) whether biophysical limits are binding on continued GDP growth or could be overcome with technology. While g...
Book
Mindfulness techniques, having long played an important role in contemplative traditions around the world, are now recognized as having the potential to transform workplaces. As interest in the role of mindfulness in organizational settings continues to increase, this timely book fills a gap in the literature by providing an overview of the latest...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we explore the effects of mindfulness training upon individual identity. We aim to show that mindfulness training extends beyond improving emotional self-regulation. Our work shows that over time it changes how we respond to the questions ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Am I really separate from you?’ In turn, these changes have profound implicati...
Article
Full-text available
We heartily agree with the target article and focus on how positive sociocultural change can be accelerated through the systematic use of scenario planning – what we call sociotecture. Scenario planning is a design process for the creation and selection of symbotypes that make a positive difference. It cuts through complexity by integrating cogniti...
Article
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Studies of acculturation have assumed that, under pressure to assimilate, individuals will accommodate by adopting behavioural and attitudinal attributes of the local, dominant culture. In contrast, this empirical study based in the United Arab Emirates used an original survey instrument, together with a range of convergent analytic techniques, to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Decety and Lamm argued that empathy is "the ability to experience and understand what others feel without confusion between oneself and others" (italics added; 2006, p. 1146). Excessive identification with another who is suffering appears to lead to personal distress and avoidance rather than empathic concern. This is particularly a problem for rol...
Article
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy that predominantly teaches clients acceptance and mindfulness skills, as well as values clarification and enactment skills. Australian treatment guideline providers have been cautious in recognising ACT as empirically supported. This article reviews evidence...
Article
Full-text available
To enhance compassion in organizations, the processes by which compassion can be enhanced in individuals must be understood. We develop an expanded model of the components of compassionate responding that includes noticing, appraising, feeling and acting. Using this model, we propose that psychological flexibility (mindfulness combined with values-...
Chapter
Full-text available
The nature of public sector management and leadership is changing. To address whole-of-government and whole-of-society challenges, public sector organizations are exploring more collaborative forms of leadership (Alford and Hughes, 2008; Getha-Taylor, 2008). Leadership, particularly at senior levels, is becoming more about influencing across bounda...
Article
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We describe a small, hypothesis-generating study of the use of a measure of complexity of mind in coaching contexts. The aims of the pilot study were threefold: (a) to explore participants’, coaches’ and interviewers’ insights and reactions to the use of a developmental theory in coaching; (b) to develop and explore a process for using the Subject-...
Chapter
Full-text available
What is Perspective Taking?Why is Perspective Taking Important at Work?Overview of Model of the Outcomes of Perspective TakingIntra-Individual Outcomes for the Perspective TakerInterpersonal and Dyadic OutcomesHigher-Level Outcomes and Enduring CapabilitiesPotential Negative OutcomesHow Might Perspective Taking be Enhanced at Work? What Inhibits or...
Article
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Although 360-degree feedback programs are rapidly increasing in popularity, few studies have examined how well ratings from these programs predict an independent criterion. This study had 2 main aims: First, to examine the validity of ratings from a 360-degree feedback program using assessment center ratings as an independent criterion and to deter...
Article
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This paper explores the potential of evidence-based executive coaching as an intervention for facilitating expatriate success. One-to-one professional coaching is proposed as a powerful supplement to two interventions that have traditionally been used to assist expatriate managers – training and mentoring. Coaching is likely to be effective with ex...
Conference Paper
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What is the relationship between emotional intelligence and age? Studies of changes in positive and negative effect across the adult lifespan suggest that, despite the additional emotional challenges that older adults face, they experience more subjective well-being. In addition, studies of affective processing across the lifespan suggest that olde...
Article
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The tendency for people to perform poorly on dynamic decision-making tasks has been attributed to their inability to form adequate mental models of dynamic systems (Sterman, 1994). An alternative explanation is that the tabular feedback formats used in previous studies do not facilitate mental representations of the dynamic task and lead to process...
Article
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The mediational role of strategy in the relationship between self-efficacy and performance on complex tasks is analysed. Within an individual's multi-dimensional self-efficacy belief system, perceived capabilities for conducting searches in different modalities and for the processing of information, including the use of tools to overcome cognitive...
Article
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 Part-set relearning studies examine whether relearning a subset of previously learned items impairs or improves memory for other items in memory that are not relearned. Atkins and Murre have examined part-set relearning using multi-layer networks that learn by optimizing performance on a complete set of items. For this paper, four computer models...
Conference Paper
We describe the development of an instrument for measuring understanding of system dynamics known as the Dynamic Forecasting Questionnaire (DFQ). The original version of the DFQ (DFQ1) was designed to explore which causal structures were most difficult for students to understand and manipulate. The DFQ1 systematically compared linear, first order f...
Article
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Three experimental studies showed that bonuses based on end-of-period determinations of standards led to the setting of more challenging goals but lower performance than a control condition in which bonuses were based on the achievement of self-set goals. Performance differences between the bonus and control conditions were not mediated by levels o...
Article
Full-text available
Three experimental studies showed that bonuses based on end-of-period determinations of standards led to the setting of more challenging goals but lower performance than a control condition in which bonuses were based on the achievement of self-set goals. Performance differences between the bonus and control conditions were not mediated by levels o...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested the hypothesis that individual differences in immediate verbal memory span would predict success in second language vocabulary acquisition. The subjects learned 56 English–Finnish translations during two sessions using a method in which they were encouraged to distribute their learning and to use semantic encoding strategies where...
Article
Full-text available
When gradient-descent models with hidden units are retrained on a portion of a previously learned set of items, performance on both the relearned and unrelearned items improves. Previous explanations of this phenomenon have not adequately distinguished recovery, which is dependent on original learning, from generalization, which is independent of o...
Article
Full-text available
It has often been argued that various facts about skilled reading aloud cannot be explained by any model unless that model possesses a dual-route architecture (lexical and nonlexical routes from print to speech). This broad claim has been challenged by M. S. Seidenberg and J. L. McClelland (1989, 1990). Their model has but a single route from print...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Develop, evaluate and review psychotherapeutic interventions and its effect to decrease human suffering
Project
A key difference between traditional mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is that MBIs focus on mindfulness training, while ACT emphasises the application of mindfulness to behavioural change in line with personal values. This randomized controlled trial compared outcomes from a MBI and ACT intervention for 199 higher degree university students, assessing outcome measures at baseline, post-intervention and at four weeks followup. Using a mixed linear approach , results indicated that both MBI and ACT interventions were superior to waitlist control on most outcomes, however, the improvements in the ACT group were generally faster and larger than in the MBI group most outcomes. The MBI group did not change significantly in Values based action and Study satisfaction, and the ACT group was inferior to the MBI group in reducing frequency of negative experiences.