Article

Curiosity enhances the role of mindfulness in reducing defensive responses to existential threat

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Abstract

Using a terror management theory paradigm, the present research assessed whether people characterized by both an attitude of curiosity, as well as mindful attention, would exhibit non-defensive reactions to targets that threaten their worldview. Participants (N = 118) were randomly assigned to an existential threat (mortality salience) condition or a control condition then asked to read an essay describing humans as just another animal or an essay describing the uniqueness of humans. Participants higher in both curiosity and mindful attention responded non-defensively, rating the humans as animals essay writer as likeable and intelligent, with a valid opinion. Participants who were high in mindfulness but low in curiosity responded defensively, with negative judgments of the essay writer. Mindlessness (endorsing low curiosity and mindful attention) also mitigated defensive responding. Although mindful and mindless people both showed non-defensive reactions, we theorize about distinct causal paths. Results suggest that curiosity plays an important, understudied role in the benefits linked to mindfulness.

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... The fear of death and mindfulness practicing were found to have a link in existing studies (Hofmann et al. 2010, Kashdan et al. 2011, Park and Pyszczynski 2019. Negative feelings like death anxiety are intensive and therefore may urge people to seek for any way to get rid of the uncomfortable state Kilbourne 2008, Kesebir 2014). ...
... Subsequently, the new formed perceptions will result in new behaviors as a way to escaping the fear (Wilson 2002, Varela et al. 2017, Shapiro 2019. By the same token, one may seek for a cure like practicing mindfulness to ease the anxiety of death (e.g., pay attention to what is happening in the body; observe and describe the uncomfortable feelings; untie of the judgments) (Hofmann et al. 2010, Kashdan et al. 2011, Bianco et al. 2019). ...
Thesis
Considered as a universal concept, corporate social responsibility (CSR) was actually originated from occidental perspective, making it inadequate to be imposed globally. The CSR perceived by consumers might be divergent in oriental context. Aiming to expand the understandings of consumer perceptions and their responses to CSR in oriental context, we therefore conducted our studies in Vietnam. We first conducted a qualitative study to explore CSR insights of consumers and built a Five Personas typology of consumers. Then, two scenario-based experiments in food sector and cosmetics & skincare sector allowed to test consumer reactions to CSR. The second experiment was integrated in a larger data collection used to form a structural equation model, explaining the psychological mechanisms behind consumer responses. Our findings reveal that CSR has a real impact on consumer evaluations of firm and products, whereas country-of-origin and production process turned out to have no significant impact. Given no cue on quality control, consumers still form their evaluations on product quality, which makes perceived product quality the mediator between the firm engagement in CSR and consumer responses toward the firm (brand attitude, purchase and recommendation intention). We found that consumption habituation and perceived firm motives toward CSR moderate this relationship while CSR skepticism is the mediator. Beneath the surface, some individual constructs can explain the mechanisms. We highlight consumer green values, playing the moderating role between firm green engagement and perceived product quality. Five constructs form green values including mindfulness, voluntary simplicity, internal locus-of-control, connectedness to nature, and death anxiety. We hope to expand the understandings of how consumers perceive and react towards CSR in oriental context that might be more sophisticated than the appearances.
... Curiosity and acceptance are important elements for one person to gain creativity, fulfillment and views [1][2][3][4]. A child's tendency to ask a question shall be an initial step of building human relations and learning various things. ...
... where x i is a vector of sociodemographic independent variables including household income, marital status, family type, education, gender, etc. The associated coefficients of α 0 , α 1 , α 2 , α 3 are the parameters to be estimated, and � i is a disturbance term. In Eq 1, parameter α 1 is of particular interest to statistically examine question (1). ...
Article
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Inquisitiveness (curiosity & acceptance to something and someone different) is the main engine for one person to initiate some relation, and the literature has established that maintaining nice relationships with friends, family and general others contributes to generativity and happiness. However, little is known about how generativity and happiness are characterized by inquisitiveness. We hypothesize that inquisitiveness is a fundamental determinant for generativity and happiness, empirically examining the relationships along with cognitive, noncognitive and sociodemographic factors. We conduct questionnaire surveys with 400 Japanese subjects, applying quantile regression and structural equation modeling to the data. First, the analysis identifies the importance of inquisitiveness in characterizing generativity in that people with high inquisitiveness tend to be generative. Second, people are identified to be happy as they have high generativity and inquisitiveness, demonstrating two influential roles of inquisitiveness as direct and indirect determinants through a mediator of generativity. Overall, the results suggest that inquisitiveness shall be a key element of people’s happiness through intergenerational and intragenerational communications or relations.
... Mindfulness allows individuals to process information experientially and in a non-judgmental manner (Langer, 1989), which likely gives mindful individuals a considerable advantage when contemplating death. Furthermore, there is evidence indicating that the combination of heightened mindfulness and trait level curiosity can decrease defensiveness in response to existential threats; although for those high in mindfulness and low in curiosity, defensiveness is not reduced (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011). This provides preliminary evidence that curiosity may also be instrumental in processing reminders of death. ...
... To date, consideration of openness to experience in terror management has, for the most part, been limited to controlling for its effects while exploring other related constructs, such as mindfulness (Niemiec et al., 2010), curiosity (Kashdan et al., 2011), and cultural exploration Zhang, Schimel, & Faucher, 2014). The aim of the current research is to investigate openness, instead, as a general moderator of terror management effects. ...
Article
Research on terror management theory demonstrates that people respond to reminders of mortality with defenses aimed at maintaining their self-esteem and defending cultural worldviews. We posited that being open to experience should allow individuals to process death more receptively (i.e., with curiosity), attenuating the need to bolster self-esteem or defend worldviews, because death is a novel experience. Across three studies, dispositional openness moderated reactions to mortality salience. Individuals low in openness to experience responded to mortality salience with increased self-esteem striving (Study 1) and worldview defense (Study 2), and this functioned to decrease the subsequent availability of death-related thought (Study 2). Individuals high in openness to experience did not exhibit these same defense tendencies. Study 3 examined a possible mechanism for the attenuated effects observed among high openness individuals: increased curiosity in response to mortality salience was found to decrease worldview defense, but only for those high in openness. Together this research depicts openness as a resource facilitating reduced defensiveness following mortality salience.
... We thus studied how curiosity is relevant to episodes of hurt feelings in response to provocation over a two week assessment period. People high in curiosity exhibit less defensive reactions following ego threats (Kashdan et al., 2011), which might extend to provocation in social situations. Compared to less curious people, we expected curious people to be more open and receptive to their pain and less likely to show evidence of extreme reactions or aggression. ...
Article
Curiosity is the propensity to recognize and seek out new information and experience, including an intrinsic interest in learning and developing one's knowledge. With few exceptions, researchers have often ignored the social consequences of being curious. In four studies using cross-sectional (N = 64), daily diary (Ns = 150 and 110, respectively), and behavioral experimental (N = 132) designs, we tested the hypothesis that individual differences in curiosity are linked to less aggression, even when people are provoked. We showed that both trait and daily curiosity were linked to less aggressive responses toward romantic relationship partners and people who caused psychological hurt. In time-lagged analyses, daily curiosity predicted less aggression from one day to the next, with no evidence for the reverse direction. Studies 3 and 4 showed that the inverse association between curiosity and aggression was strongest in close relationships and in fledgling (as opposed to long-lasting) romantic relationships. That is, highly curious people showed evidence of greater context sensitivity. Intensity of hurt feelings and other personality and relationship variables failed to account for these effects. Curiosity is a neglected mechanism of resilience in understanding aggression.
... 73 Arndt et al 2004. 74 Adams 2007, Kashdan et al 2011, Niemiec et al 2010 Dichter 1964. 76 Oman et al 2008, Rosenzweig et al 2008, Shapiro et al 1998. ...
Research
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Think-piece by Dr Alison Armstrong and Professor Tim Jackson—A contribution to Friends of the Earth’s ‘Big Ideas’ programme, which is examining potential high-leverage interventions towards justice and sustainability across a range of domains.
... Tension is experienced when experiences are encountered that CURIOUS PEOPLE IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS 5 are inconsistent with existing conceptual frameworks about the self, other people, and the world (Loevinger, 1976;Piaget, 1952). Researchers have provided preliminary evidence that when novel stimuli are confronted (bottom-up) or purposely sought (top-down), curious people show less defensive reactions (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011;Kashdan, DeWall, et al., 2011). Although novel or challenging social interactions often leave less curious individuals mentally exhausted, curious people believe they can cope and therefore are more energized prior to, during, and after social situations (Silvia, 2005: Silvia, 2008Thoman, Smith, & Silvia, 2011). ...
Article
People who are open and curious orient their lives around an appreciation of novelty and a strong urge to explore, discover, and grow. Researchers have recently shown that being an open, curious person is linked to healthy social outcomes. To better understand the benefits (and liabilities) of being a curious person, we used a multimethod design of social behavior to assess the perspectives of multiple informants (including self, friends, and parents) and behavior coded from direct observations in unstructured social interactions. We found an impressive degree of convergence among self, friend, and parent reports of curiosity, and observer-rated behavioral correlates of curiosity. A curious personality was linked to a wide range of adaptive behaviors, including tolerance of anxiety and uncertainty, positive emotional expressiveness, initiation of humor and playfulness, unconventional thinking, and a nondefensive, noncritical attitude. This characterization of curious people provides insights into mechanisms underlying associated healthy social outcomes.
... It is this form of top-down curiosity that can lead to an attitudinal transformation toward people and situations that are encountered regularly and without introspection (Kashdan, 2009). For instance, there is evidence that curiosity leads to less defensive reactions to mortality salience cues (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011) and less aggression in response to provocation (Kashdan et al., in press). By separating the SEEKING system into bottom-up and top-down functions, researchers and practitioners can gain greater clarity about the nature of curiosity and exploration, as well as clinical strategies that can be undertaken to increase effective goal-related behavior and a subsequent meaningful life. ...
Article
Wright & Panksepp make an important contribution by presenting their neuroevolutionary model of the SEEKING system. This system allows for the eager anticipation and discovery of various resources needed for survival, propagation, and personal growth (Panksepp, 2011; Panksepp & Moskal, 2008). In this article, attention is drawn to salient characteristics of the SEEKING system that have been left out of this theoretical account. Instead of focusing on the mental content inherent to the SEEKING system (emotions, sensations), I argue for the need to delineate contextual factors that influence the activation of this system. Furthermore, I comment on the problems of bypassing the uniqueness of human beings for a framework of SEEKING that is relevant for all mammalian species. Finally, I revisit the claim that the SEEKING system entails primal positive emotions by detailing the distress or pain that often occurs during meaning-making efforts. A functional contextual approach, which addresses when the seeking system helps an individual make progress toward personally meaningful goals and when this system disrupts these desired efforts, may be more promising for science and clinical work.
... Kashdan, Sherman, Yarbro, and Funder (in press) have made empirical arguments for distinguishing these two constructs one from another, thereby demonstrating their partial independence. The consistent and strong correlations with Extroversion (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011;) and consistently negative associations with Neuroticism suggest also that curiosity may be positively associated with the meta-trait Plasticity: a higher-order personality factor composed of Openness to Experience and Extraversion (DeYoung, Peterson, Séguin, & Tremblay, 2008); its associations with Stability (a higher-order personality factor composed of Emotional Stability, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness), however, are less clear. ...
Article
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The main objective of the study presented in this article was to examine the relationship between trait curiosity and two self-concept constructs which are gaining popularity in the creativity literature - creative self-efficacy (CSE) and creative personal identity (CPI). Although the role of curiosity in creativity seems well established, in fact there is little empirical evidence of the relationship between curiosity treated as a trait and both CSE and CPI. In a study conducted on a sample of middle and high school Polish students (N = 284; 55% female, aged 13-18, M = 14.74, SD = 1.14), curiosity was measured by the Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI-II; Kashdan, Gallagher, Silvia, Winterstein, Breen, Terhar, & Steger, 2009) and CSE and CPI by the Short Scale of Creative Self (SSCS; Karwowski, Lebuda, & Wiśniewska, in press). Confirmatory factor analysis revealed the existence of substantial correlations between measured constructs. Latent factor of CSE correlated strongly with a tendency to seek out new experiences (stretching, r =.72) and an acceptance of unpredictability (embracing, r =.67), while CPI correlated substantially with stretching (r =.62) and slightly less with embracing (r =.48) - all correlations were highly reliable (p <.001). Hierarchical confirmatory factor analysis showed the existence of a strong relationship between the higher-order factor of curiosity (composed of stretching and embracing) and creative self (composed of CSE and CPI): r =.75, which may indicate common basis of creativity and curiosity. The consequences of curiosity for the development of CSE and CPI are discussed.
... Curiosity had moderate positive associations with both openness to experience and extraversion and moderate sized negative associations with neuroticism and conservative political views (Kashdan et al., 2011). Entrepreneurs are often associated with the Schumpeterian innovator implying openness to new options (Burmeister and Schade, 2007). ...
Article
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Entrepreneurial curiosity is an entrepreneurial-psychology related construct that measures a level of entrepreneurial curiosity among entrepreneurs. Key research objectives of the study were to empirically test how two independent constructs as openness and company's growth are connected to entrepreneurial curiosity and to develop and empirically test a structural model linking these three constructs. A multi-country survey was made on a sample of entrepreneurs from Slovenia, USA and Serbia. Findings showed that openness is positively related to entrepreneurial curiosity and that entrepreneurial curiosity is positively related to company's growth. Results of this study can be used both for further research and in practice.
... The reviewed definitions indicate that curiosity tends to be defined in terms of positive emotions. This is further implicated with the presence of curiosity as a central construct in positive psychology (Kashdan 2004), and with numerous empirical and theoretical articles supporting the benefits of curiosity for health and well-being (Gallagher and Lopez 2007;Kashdan et al. 2011;Swan and Carmelli 1996). While the effects of curiosity have not been found to be positive in all regards, thereby supporting the adage that "curiosity killed the cat," the definitions included in this review suggest that curiosity is a personally enjoyable path, even when leading to negative outcomes. ...
Article
Curiosity has received increasing attention in the educational literature, yet empirical investigations have been limited by inconsistent conceptualizations and the use of curiosity synonymously with other constructs, particularly interest. The purpose of this review is to critically examine the dimensionality, definitions, and measures of curiosity within educational settings, and address the boundaries between curiosity and interest. A systematic review of 39 articles from 2003 to 2013 revealed a reliance on self-report measures, a focus on curiosity as a personality trait, and definitions characterized by four themes, the most common of which were curiosity as a need for knowledge or information, and curiosity as a motivator of exploratory behavior. The overlap and relations between curiosity and interest are discussed, and it is proposed that an examination of (a) the role of knowledge, (b) goals and outcomes, and (c) stability and malleability provide a basis for differentiating curiosity and interest according to their essential characteristics.
... The CEI-II contains ten items, with fi ve items measuring the stretching dimension (e.g., "I actively seek as much information as I can in new situations") and another fi ve items measuring the embracing dimension (e.g., "I am the type of person who really enjoys the uncertainty of everyday life") of trait curiosity. Although the stretching and embracing facets of curiosity are conceptually distinct, research in the West have shown that they are highly correlated (e.g., Kashdan et al., 2009Kashdan et al., , 2013, and some Western studies have only used the overall CEI-II score for analysis (e.g., Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011 ;Kashdan et al., 2013 ). In the current study, we used the composite scale score of the CEI-II for analysis instead of the two CEI-II dimensions for two reasons. ...
Chapter
As an intrinsic motivation to explore new experience and knowledge, curiosity plays an essential role in learning and development. However, in Asian cultures, where tradition and authority are highly respected, people may not be encouraged to develop and utilize their curiosity, even in a learning setting where curiosity is highly valued (e.g., general education). This longitudinal study examined how curiosity affected learning outcomes in general education and how the learning outcomes, in turn, contributed to subsequent development of curiosity among a group of university students in Hong Kong. Two hundred and forty-two participants (59 males and 183 females) responded to the questionnaires at the beginning of Semesters 1 and 2. Learning outcomes were assessed by both objective and subjective measures (i.e., average grade and self-evaluation). Results show that curiosity at the beginning of Semester 1 significantly predicted self-evaluated learning outcomes in Semester 1, which further contributed significantly to curiosity in Semester 2, even when the curiosity in Semester 1 was controlled. By contrast, no significant association was found for the objective measure of learning outcome with curiosity in Semesters 1 and 2. Implications for learning and assessment in general education are discussed.
... Examples of mindfulness-based and closely allied Buddhist-based programs that incorporate specific character strengths include compassion-focused therapy (Gilbert, 2010), mindful selfcompassion programs (Neff & Germer, 2013), and mindfulness-based positive behavior support (Singh, Lancioni, Manikam, Latham, & Jackman, 2016). In addition, there are mindfulness studies or reviews that examine the association of mindfulness with character strengths, including creativity in the workplace (Colzato, Ozturk, & Hommel, 2012;Kudesia, 2015), curiosity (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011), judgment and honesty (Ruedy & Schweitzer, 2010), love of learning (Singh et al., 2006), zest (Collins, Best, Stritzke, & Page, 2016), love (Giolzetti, 2012), teamwork (Singh et al., 2002), leadership (Sauer & Kohls, 2011), forgiveness (Webb, Phillips, Bumgarner, & Conway-Williams, 2013), humility (Kabat-Zinn, 2003), self-regulation (Vago & Silbersweig, 2012), gratitude (O'Leary & Dockray, 2015), hope (Malinowski & Lim, 2015), humor (Özyesil, Deniz, & Kesici, 2013), and spirituality (Feuille & Pargament, 2015). These studies indicate the keen interest mindfulness researchers have in traits that are strongly emphasized in positive psychology and suggest further alignment of the two approaches in future research. ...
... With regards to the likelihood to receive ties, prior research offers conflicting evidence. Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck and Drvoshanov (2011) suggest that individuals that are more curious are more attractive interaction partners and thus should attract more people. Similarly, Neubert and Taggar (2004) found that Openness was positively associated with centrality in advice networks. ...
Conference Paper
Using a wide range of methodological and theoretical frameworks this thesis aims to integrate the social network approach with psychological research. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the network perspective and the wide range of theories, concepts and applications. Further, a novel structural framework is offered, integrating the most important measures of network-positioning. Chapter 2 contains four studies examining how an individual’s personality and motivation relates to their perception of, and actual social network positioning. Study 1 shows that personality influences how people perceive themselves in social networks and that this perception moderates the well-researched relationship between personality and subjective wellbeing. The second study demonstrates that (similarity on) the Big Five personality factors affect the likelihood of selecting and attracting social network ties. Yet, effects are small and somewhat inconsistent with previous literature. Results of Study 3 did not support our hypothesis that differences in motivation are associated with the occupation of different social network positions, in an organizational setting. Lastly, study 4 shows how an individual’s political skill relates to his/her preferred and perceived personal networks, and their joint effect on job attitudes. Chapter 3 links SNA with Social Cognition research. Study 1 demonstrates that high self-monitors are perceived as more similar to the self, and that this (partly) accounts for the well-known effect of self-monitoring on popularity in friendship networks. Study 2 examines if, and concludes that perceptions of high popularity negatively affects the quality of a friendship relations. Lastly, Study 3 demonstrates that an individual’s sense of power negatively impacts perceptual accuracy of dyadic relations in a friendship network. Chapter 4 emphasizes qualitative aspects of social network relations. Study 1 suggests that average frequency of tie “activation” as well as advice ties that co-occur with more personal ties, lead to increased levels of employee engagement. Study 2 demonstrates that costs of giving and benefits of receiving advice are more pronounced in informal, compared to formal work networks. Overall, it is concluded that the social network approach provides a powerful research tool for psychologists, yet being fraught with both methodological as well as theoretical challenges.
... Research has investigated how different negative experiences influence people's reactions. For example, mortality salience has been found to produce a defensive response, which can be countered via trait mindfulness (Niemiec et al., 2010) and curiosity (Kashdan et al., 2011). Research has also examined how self-affirmation can attenuate responses to threatening information (Sherman and Cohen, 2002). ...
This research examines the interactive effects of two negative experiences that consumers can face: feelings of distrust generated by deceptive advertising and social exclusion. Our findings reveal a previously undocumented positive effect of social exclusion. Across two experiments, our findings demonstrate that social exclusion prevents the negative effects of deception from carrying over onto other, honest advertisement. Moreover, this research shows that meaninglessness serves as the underlying mechanism for this interaction effect.
... Mindful people show a willingness to consider new information about themselves and their world without reflexive judgements. In the absence of curiosity, mindfully attentive people appeared to be defensive, rejecting ideas and disparaging people that challenged the notion of human uniqueness (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011). These findings indicate the importance of understanding better the effect of the elements that entail mindfulness. ...
Preprint
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Mindfulness attitudes, as gentleness, openness, acceptance, curiosity and being non-judgmental have been related to improvement in cognitive and emotional functions, but few studies have focused on its specific contribution. The present study investigated the effect of the mindfulness attitudes on top-down attentional control abilities. Twenty one healthy participants were submitted to two conditions: a Mindfulness induction session where participants practiced focusing on the sensory sensations of breathing while encouraged to incorporate the five mindfulness attitudes and an attentional control session in which participants were repeatedly instructed to merely attend to the breath, without any mindfulness attitude component. Before and after each condition, participants performed two blocks of the oddball task while EEG was recorded. Contrary to our expectations, attentional control assessed through amplitude and latency of the P3b ERP component and oddball task accuracy did not show any changes in any of the conditions. These results suggest that a low dose of mindfulness training in naive individuals, through a focused breath induction, is not enough to improve the allocation of attentional resources towards task-relevant stimuli.
... Finally, the predictor variables used in this study explained only a portion of the overall variance in death anxiety and death acceptance, though this is consistent with other studies examining factors of religiosity and death perspectives (e.g., Dezutter et al., 2011;Henrie & Patrick, 2014). Future research should include other factors that may provide more insight into death anxiety and death acceptance, including possible personality traits (e.g., impulsivity, neuroticism ;Frazier & Foss-Goodman, 1989) or states (e.g., curiosity, mindfulness; Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011) in atheists and other nonbelievers that may be more strongly associated with these constructs. ...
Article
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This study explores how age, certainty of belief, belief in science and gender is related to death anxiety and death acceptance. Results from a sample of atheists and other nonbe-lievers (N ¼ 270) in the United States suggested that age and certainty of belief were significantly related to death anxiety and death acceptance, while belief in science was not a significant predictor. In addition, women reported higher levels of death anxiety compared to men. Implications and directions for future research in death perspectives for atheists and other nonbelievers are discussed.
... Additional mindfulness-based programs incorporate a single strength focus into their teachings. For example, there are mindfulness programs and studies that align with the character strengths of: curiosity (Kashdan et al., 2011), zest (Collins et al., 2016), love (Giolzetti, 2012), humility (Kabat-Zinn, 2003), hope (Malinowski & Lim, 2015), self-regulation (Vago & Silbersweig, 2012), teamwork (Singh et al. 2006), and humor (Özyeşil et al., 2013). These studies show the breadth and depth of research on character strengths and traits incorporated into mindfulness and the desire of researchers to align the two approaches and interventions. ...
Article
The youth corrections system is in need of reform. Emerging work from the field of positive criminology is working to shift the focus from retribution and risk management to strengths building and positive youth development. Research suggests, targeted strategies from positive psychology can provide youth with opportunities to counteract the potentially deleterious effects of incarceration, especially as adolescent neurobehavioral development offers a ripe opportunity for positive interventions that enhance wellbeing. Strengths-based compassion, the proposed positive intervention described within, uses mindfulness, character strengths, and the cultivation of compassion to improve self-regulation and self-discipline, increase self-esteem, improve social skills, and reduce recidivism. The proposed eight-week program is designed through a trauma-responsive lens that has been adapted for youth in a correctional facility and creates the potential for revolutionary change in the hearts and minds of young offenders. This change positions youth on a productive path in which they desist from future criminal activity and increase pathways for flourishing in their lives after incarceration.
... In the social field, curiosity is visible to others (Kashdan et al., 2013) and is relevant to healthy social interactions and relationships (McCrae & Sutin, 2009), but also when challenging and, at times, violating social norms (Kashdan et al., 2013). Curiosity has been associated with: a) self-efficacy to potentially overcome challenging environments (Bandura, 1997); b) a coping potential based on greater confidence (Silvia, 2008;Silvia et al., 2009); c) a competence motive to master one's environment (White, 1959); d) better adaptiveness to all sorts of situational demands (Matsumoto et al., 2000); e) less defensive reactions (Kashdan et al., 2011); f) motivation to have new experiences with peers (García & Valdez, 2017). Finally, Loewenstein (1994) considers that lack of curiosity has serious social implications, that is, social stereotyping arises when people fail to recognize their ignorance or understanding gaps with regard to others. ...
Article
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This manuscript explores the psychometric properties of a scale measuring self-curiosity, a facet of general curiosity, consisting of the attitude and interest people have in understanding themselves better. In this study, we provide data on the comparison between the Self-Curiosity Attitude-Interest Scale in an Italian and a Mexican sample, paired for gender, age, and education. The scale reliability was satisfactory , and the two-factor structure of the scale showed a good fit in the Mexican sample. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis showed configural, metric, partial scalar, and strict invariance between samples. Overall, results indicated that the concept of self-curiosity is meaningfully measured by the SCAI items. In line with previous studies, construct validity of the scale highlighted the expected correlations with measures of trait openness, awareness, and general curiosity. In conclusion, the results show that the two-factor model of the Self-Curiosity Attitude-Interest Scale is similarly adequate in both countries.
... SFM, on the other hand, may potentially bring in the willingness to broaden insight and search for alternative points of view, which according to mindfulness-to-meaning theory significantly increases the possibilities of meaning in life arising through mindfulness (Garland et al., 2015;Garland & Fredrickson, 2019). Similarly, previous research provided evidence that curiosity (i.e., the variable with which SFM is correlated) increases the role of mindfulness in non-defensive responses to existential threat (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011), which in death anxiety research indicates a well-grounded sense of meaning in life (cf. Sullivan et al., 2016). ...
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The aim of the study was to investigate the interplay between loneliness and mindfulness in predicting presence of meaning (POM 1), taking into consideration the additional role of the search for meaning (SFM). A sample of 415 participants from Poland aged 18-55 (M = 27.88; SD = 8.66) completed a set of 3 questionnaires: the De Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale, the Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale, and Meaning in Life Questionnaire. Our results suggest that mindfulness partially mediated the relationship between loneliness and POM. This effect was moderated by SFM. Specifically, an indirect effect was found among participants with medium-and high-levels of search for meaning but not in the participants with a low level 1 Abbreviations: POM-Presence of meaning; SFM-Search for meaning. 2 of this variable. Furthermore, it turned out that SFM enhanced the relationship between mindfulness and POM. These results are discussed in the context of the evolutionary theory of loneliness, meaning-making mechanisms of mindfulness and schema-like properties of SFM.
... For example, de-automatization and flexibility have been shown to result in pro-sociality and reduced discrimination (Flook et al., 2015;Kang et al., 2014;Lueke & Gibson, 2014). Further studies are needed to support the link between mindfulness, automaticity, visual processes, and threat perception, but recent research seems to consistently support this hypothesis Heppner et al., 2008;Kashdan et al., 2011;Niemiec et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Objectives : Past research has suggested that mindfulness training reduces automaticity while processing socio-emotional stimuli. The present study aimed to analyze how mindfulness practice may reduce the use of prior knowledge during the recognition of emotional facial expressions. Based on a predictive brain model, we hypothesized that mindfulness practice would reduce the top-down processing of low spatial frequency information. Methods : This experiment compared the performance of a mindfulness group (n = 32) and a waitlist control group (n = 30) in an emotional Stroop task before and after an 8-week training course. The emotional Stroop task comprised two emotional facial expressions (joy or anger) topped with a congruent or incongruent word, and was primed by facial expressions filtered in two spatial frequency bands: high spatial frequency (HSF) or low spatial frequency (LSF). Results : Having measured the reaction time, the results showed a significant interaction between group (mindfulness vs. control) and session (before vs. after training; p = 0.04; R2 = 0.001), irrespective of spatial frequency channels. Breaking down the interaction showed that mindfulness-trained participants responded significantly faster than the controls to any type of information. The interaction Group by Session by Priming was not significant. Conclusions : These results are in line with research underlining the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on global attentional control. More precisely, the global reduced reaction time did not support lower top-down predictive coding abilities specifically driven by low spatial frequency channels, but indicated a better general sensitivity to the perceptual environment.
... The positive effects of curiosity on well-being have also been attributed to curious people's tendency to experience more positive emotions (Kashdan & Steger, 2007; and to make more positive, optimistic judgments (Maner & Gerend, 2007). Especially when combined with mindfulness, curious people seem to appreciate what is unique in the present moment and to react less defensively to threatening situations (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck, & Drvoshanov, 2011). ...
... This is where I like to think of the strength of curiosity as a way to approach building and sustaining this self-care toolbox of strategies. Curiosity is a motivator for learning, and it is crucial for healthy development and supports one to focus one's attention with an appreciation of novelty, challenge and uncertainty (Kashdan, Afram, Brown, Birnbeck and Drvoshanov, 2011). To think about the variety and different strategies, there are various wellbeing frameworks that could be used to scaffold this. ...
Article
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Creating psychologically safe spaces for pre-service teachers to talk about their hopes, dreams and tensions of becoming teachers is complex work that requires teacher educators to engage with a range of pedagogical practices. A teacher educator must consider how they create this safe space, offering opportunity for vulnerabilities to be revealed. But a teacher educator must also be vulnerable them self; with an awareness for not always knowing what one will be told, will hear or will see. I argue that a mindfulness practice supports being grounded and an ability to hold the space for pre-service teachers as they explore their wellbeing and thus develop, grow, maintain and protect their self-care. In this paper, I draw on reflective and goal setting data to examine pre-service teachers’ understandings of their own wellbeing and self-care needs. I use poetic representation to illuminate practices that provide insight into what resources are drawn upon, and what concerns pre-service teachers have as they prepare for their last professional experience placement before graduation. Poetic representation of data provides opportunity to connect with the experiences of pre-service teachers and reveals where there are gaps that can provide us opportunities to consider where we locate pre-service teacher wellbeing in initial teacher education.
Book
Cambridge Core - Education, History, Theory - Building and Sustaining a Teaching Career - by Narelle Suzanne Lemon
Article
Recent studies have revealed that curiosity—seeking new information and experiences—can improve psychological and social functioning. However, the social nature of curiosity remains poorly understood. We tested whether curious people show better psychological adaptation because (1) they have less rejection sensitivity, and (2) they are less susceptible to daily social rejection experiences. These two hypotheses were supported by a cross-sectional study (N = 500, 20–39 years old). We found that rejection sensitivity partially mediates the relationship between curiosity and psychological adaptation (life satisfaction and depression). Furthermore, curiosity moderated the relationships between perceived daily social rejection experiences and life satisfaction: Curious people are buffered against such aversive effects, relative to less curious people. Our findings suggest one possible explanation for why curious people experience better psychological functioning: They appear to be less affected by social rejection.
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The SEEKING system of mammalian brains needs to be understood from multiple scientific and clinical perspectives. SEEKING theory provides new neuropsychoanalytic perspectives for understanding the human mind and its behavioral and emotional disorders and considers dimensions of experience that have traditionally been subsumed under concepts such as "drives" and "motivations." Historically these concepts became problematic because experimentalists and clinicians didn't quite know what they were speaking about, at least within the evolved dynamics of the mammalian BrainMind. Here, we briefly summarize the history of the field and build a framework to help us understand a variety of human experiences, with the hope of understanding and treating common human psychological problems-from a vast number of addictive urges to depressive despair. Our goal is to promote an understanding of a key form of human experience that resides in the nomothetic primary-process domain, which provides a fundamental substrate for the idiographic growth of individual minds toward both psychological disturbances and mental health. Concurrently, by considering the impact of the SEEKING system in psychological, psychiatric, neuroscientific, and psychoanalytic domains, we have sought to provide a clear vision of one key entry point for linking our animalian foundations to a better understanding of the higher aspects of human minds and the brain.
Article
We very much value the integrative formulation of the neural basis of the seeking system put forth by Wright & Panksepp, but we have several concerns that might be incorporated or acknowledged in future versions. These revolve around the need for a more rigorous and modern evolutionary backdrop, a greater appreciation for earlier discussions of appetitive and consummatory behavior, more integration with other neural models of learning and reward, questionable terminology, clarification of hierarchical claims, greater attention to genetic polymorphisms and individual differences, and greater acknowledgement of earlier attempts to integrate ethological and psychoanalytic formulations that address neural and motivational systems, conflicts underlying behavior, and implications for treatment.
Article
Interest in mindfulness has risen exponentially in recent years, yet it remains unclear whether dispositional mindfulness represents a distinct and valid psychological construct. Mapping dispositional mindfulness onto well-established personality constructs is essential for developing and testing theoretical models of mindfulness. The current paper presents a critical review of dispositional mindfulness that examines historical context, operational definitions, measurement, and convergent and discriminant validity across personality domains. It is concluded that dispositional mindfulness: (a) is a multidimensional construct reflecting the focus and quality of attention, (b) appears to exist independently from other forms of mindfulness, such as learned or cultivated mindfulness, and (c) demonstrates associations with well-established personality traits, such as neuroticism and conscientiousness, yet appears to be conceptually unique. Whether dispositional mindfulness should be considered a basic tendency or a characteristic adaptation is fodder for future research. Additionally, research examining specific mechanisms underlying dispositional mindfulness (e.g., cognitive skills, attitudes) is needed to strengthen ongoing construct validation efforts. Researchers are encouraged to capitalize on the growing evidence base and approach DM as a unique individual difference factor strongly rooted in developmental, cognitive, and personality disciplines.
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The author argues that post-COVID-19 change leadership is neither a matter of technically improving what change leaders are already doing or refining existing systems and regulation. Within the context of abrupt, sudden, and unexpected change, two questions are raised. First, if it is not a matter of technically improving what change leaders are already doing, or refining existing systems, what more do post-COVID-19 change leaders need to do? Second, what new qualities would change leaders need to embrace (theory) so that they can meaningfully fulfill their change leadership practices in a post-COVID-19 era? Approaching various paradigms of change leadership as stories, the author addresses (1) the seduction of pre-COVID-19 story of change leadership, (2) offers a post-COVID-19 elder change leadership model, (3) offers a post-COVID-19 elder change leadership framework centered around four dimensions: humility, generating meaning amid chaos, compassion and empathy, and affirming hope through story telling.
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Building and Sustaining a Teaching Career - by Narelle Suzanne Lemon May 2020
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to show how mindfulness promotes more ethical behavior by improving the levels of awareness, and serves as a support for the development of the fundamental virtues. First of all, we provide an overview of mindfulness. After, we examine the relationship between mindfulness, consciousness and ethical decisions. Then we focus on character strengths and the impact that mindfulness can have on the development of virtues. Finally, we reflect briefly on some of the implications for companies.
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We explored the relationship between medical illness-related stress and fear of death and dying in a population of individuals with self-reported medical illnesses. Medically ill participants identified their level of stress related to their medical condition, their level of fear of death and dying, and what treatments they would most prefer for addressing any fear of death and dying as well as their medical illness-related stress. Participants’ medical illness-related stress levels were high with an average endorsed score of 7.23 out of 10 (most extreme stress). The majority (70%) of participants endorsed “some,” “a little,” or “no fear” of death and dying. Overall, reported medical illness-related stress was not significantly correlated with fear of death and dying. Seventy-five percent of participants reported preferring psychotherapy or mindfulness interventions for addressing their stress. Psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medications, and meditation were the top three choices for addressing fear of death and dying.
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This study investigated the crucial innovation capability factors of an exposition in creating visitors’ mindfulness, and examined the effect of visitors’ mindfulness on memory formation and patronage intentions in the food exposition context. To test a conceptual model, a survey was conducted targeting participants in an international food exposition held in Busan, South Korea. The data from a total of 371 visitors were analyzed using structural equation modeling analysis. The results reveal that product-, environment-, and promotion-related subdimensions of innovation capability in a food exposition enhance visitors’ mindfulness. In addition, visitors’ mindfulness builds strong memories and patronage intentions with regard to food expositions. The study findings enrich our understanding of the innovation experience of exposition visitors and the role of mindfulness in the food exposition context. Practical implications are explored in the Discussion section.
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The Cambridge Handbook of Motivation and Learning - by K. Ann Renninger February 2019
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This study aims to investigate the influence of curiosity on subjective well-being (SWB). More specifically, we examine the mediating role that the Big Five personality traits play in the relationships between these two variables. To this purpose, we used questionnaires in order to measure curiosity (Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II), SWB (Satisfaction with Life Scale and Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences) and the Big Five personality factors (Big Five Inventory-10) in a case of a sample of 330 undergraduates (Mean age = 18.93). The analysis carried out is based on correlations, regressions and structural equation modelling. The model obtained using structural equation modelling revealed a significant relationship between curiosity and SWB via personality characteristics (χ²/df =1.74; comparative fit index = 0.95; root mean square error of approximation = 0.051; standardised root mean square residual = 0.032). Therefore, curiosity correlates significantly with SWB, but individuals characterised by a high degree of curiosity tend to have well-developed well-being since they tend to be extroverted, perseverant and emotionally stable. Future studies should also focus on other types of personality traits. Keywords: Arterial Five personality traits, curiosity, mediation, subjective well-being.
Chapter
This chapter explores the characteristics of effective designers. It describes both behavioral and psychological differences between expert and novice designers. It closes with a review of how our cultural background can play a role in our design effectiveness.
Article
Objective: Guided by a functional account of awe, we aimed to test the hypothesis that people who often feel awe are also more curious (Studies 1 and 2), and that this relationship in turn related to academic outcomes (Study 3). Method: In Study 1 (n = 1,005), we used a self-report approach to test the relationship between dispositional awe and curiosity. In Study 2 (n = 100), we used a peer-report approach to test if participants' dispositional awe related to how curious they were rated by their friends. In Study 3, in a sample of 447 high school adolescents we tested if dispositional awe predicted academic outcomes via curiosity. Results: We found that dispositional awe was positively related to people's self-rated curiosity (Study 1) and how curious they were rated by their friends (Study 2). In Study 3, we found that dispositional awe was related to academic outcomes via curiosity. Conclusions: We conclude that among the seven positive emotion dispositions tested, awe was related to unique variance in curiosity, and this link in turn predicted academic outcomes. This work further characterizes awe as an epistemic emotion and suggests that activities that inspire awe may improve academic outcomes.
Experiment Findings
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How do investment manager and partner work on the individual traits (openness and neuroti-cism) in order to have a better gut-feeling?
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The success of horror films, popularity of true crime, and prevalence of violence in the news implies that morbid curiosity is a common psychological trait. However, research on morbid curiosity is largely absent from the psychological literature. The current project explored the psychological nature of morbid curiosity, defined as a motivation to seek out information about dangerous phenomena. In Study 1 (n = 376), the Morbid Curiosity Scale (MCS) was created. A four-factor model emerged consisting of 1) motives of dangerous people, 2) supernatural danger, 3) interpersonal violence, and 4) body violation. Study 2 (n = 330), confirmed the factor structure of the MCS and provided evidence that morbidly curious individuals are rebellious, socially curious, and low in animal reminder disgust. Study 3 (n = 317) demonstrated that trait morbid curiosity is stable over 4-6 weeks and that morbidly curious individuals prefer movies where threat is a central theme. In Study 4 (n = 137), participants were presented with a series of images or descriptions and asked which image or description they would prefer to further investigate. Each choice was between a morbid stimulus and a highly controlled non-morbid stimulus. Morbid curiosity predicted over half the variance (r2 = .53) in decisions to further investigate morbid information. These four studies provide evidence that morbid curiosity is a normally occurring psychological trait that exhibits inter-individual variation, explains media preferences, predicts threat-related information gathering, and can be assessed using the new 24-item Morbid Curiosity Scale.
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common reaction to traumatic events. Many people recover in the ensuing months, but in a significant subgroup the symptoms persist, often for years. A cognitive model of persistence of PTSD is proposed. It is suggested that PTSD becomes persistent when individuals process the trauma in a way that leads to a sense of serious, current threat. The sense of threat arises as a consequence of: (1) excessively negative appraisals of the trauma and/or ist sequelae and (2) a disturbance of autobiographical memory characterised by poor elaboration and contextualisation, strong associative memory and strong perceptual priming. Change in the negative appraisals and the trauma memory are prevented by a series of problematic behavioural and cognitive strategies. The model is consistent with the main clinical features of PTSD, helps explain several apparently puzzling phenomena and provides a framework for treatment by identifying three key targets for change. Recent studies provided preliminary support for several aspects of the model.
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This chapter proposes that the potential for abject terror created by the awareness of the inevitability of death in an animal instinctively programmed for self-preservation and continued experience lies at the root of a great deal of human motivation and behavior. This chapter presents the results of a substantial body of research that attests to the broad influence of the problem of death on human social behavior and illuminates the processes through which concerns about mortality exert their influence. The chapter overviews the primary assumptions and propositions of terror management theory and a description of the initial research conducted to test the theory. It presents a detailed consideration of more recent research that establishes the convergent and discriminant validity of the mortality salience treatment and the robustness of its effects through the use of alternative mortality salience treatments and comparison treatments, and replications by other researchers; it extends the range of interpersonal behaviors that are demonstrably influenced by terror management concerns. Moreover, it demonstrates the interaction of mortality salience with other theoretically relevant situational and dispositional variables, and provides an account of the cognitive processes through which mortality salience produces its effects. Finally, this chapter discusses the relation of terror management motives to other psychological motives and gives a consideration of issues requiring further investigation.
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The present research investigated the need to distinguish humans from animals and tested the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that this need stems in part from existential mortality concerns. Specifically, the authors suggest that being an animal is threatening because it reminds people of their vulnerability to death; therefore, reminding people of their mortality was hypothesized to increase the need to distance from animals. In support, Study 1 revealed that reminders of death led to an increased emotional reaction of disgust to body products and animals. Study 2 showed that compared to a control condition, mortality salience led to greater preference for an essay describing people as distinct from animals; and within the mortality salient condition but not the control condition, the essay emphasizing differences from other animals was preferred to the essay emphasizing similarities. The implications of these results for understanding why humans are so invested in beautifying their bodies and denying creaturely aspects of themselves are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Sitting still while trying to pay attention implicitly reinforces the idea that to pay attention one should focus on a single aspect of the stimulus. Movement encourages attending to different aspects of the stimulus and as such is hypothesized to increase attention. We tested this with students from a traditional and a nontraditional school. Students were asked to observe and recall landmarks on a map. Students from the traditional school who viewed the map from multiple perspectives remembered more landmarks and locations than students who viewed the map from a single perspective. Students from a nontraditional school who are accustomed to movement while learning, did not show this effect. The experiment is discussed in terms of mindfulness theory.
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Terror management theory posits that people tend to respond defensively to reminders of death, including worldview defense, self-esteem striving, and suppression of death thoughts. Seven experiments examined whether trait mindfulness-a disposition characterized by receptive attention to present experience-reduced defensive responses to mortality salience (MS). Under MS, less mindful individuals showed higher worldview defense (Studies 1-3) and self-esteem striving (Study 5), yet more mindful individuals did not defend a constellation of values theoretically associated with mindfulness (Study 4). To explain these findings through proximal defense processes, Study 6 showed that more mindful individuals wrote about their death for a longer period of time, which partially mediated the inverse association between trait mindfulness and worldview defense. Study 7 demonstrated that trait mindfulness predicted less suppression of death thoughts immediately following MS. The discussion highlights the relevance of mindfulness to theories that emphasize the nature of conscious processing in understanding responses to threat.
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Social dominance orientation (SDO), one's degree of preference for inequality among social groups, is introduced. On the basis of social dominance theory, it is shown that (a) men are more social dominance-oriented than women, (b) high-SDO people seek hierarchy-enhancing professional roles and low-SDO people seek hierarchy-attenuating roles, (c) SDO was related to beliefs in a large number of social and political ideologies that support group-based hierarchy (e.g., meritocracy and racism) and to support for policies that have implications for intergroup relations (e.g., war, civil rights, and social programs), including new policies. SDO was distinguished from interpersonal dominance, conservatism, and authoritariansim. SDO was negatively correlated with empathy, tolerance, communality, and altruism. The ramifications of SDO in social context are discussed. African and African American Studies Psychology
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Distinct defensive processes are activated by conscious and nonconscious but accessible thoughts of death. Proximal defenses, which entail suppressing death-related thoughts or pushing the problem of death into the distant future by denying one's vulnerability, are rational, threat-focused, and activated when thoughts of death are in current focal attention. Distal terror management defenses, which entail maintaining self-esteem and faith in one's cultural worldview, function to control the potential for anxiety that results from knowing that death is inevitable. These defenses are experiential, are not related to the problem of death in any semantic or logical way, and are increasingly activated as the accessibility of death-related thoughts increases, up to the point at which such thoughts enter consciousness and proximal threat-focused defenses are initiated. Experimental evidence for this analysis is presented.
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The present article presents and reviews the model of psychopathology and treatment underlying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT is unusual in that it is linked to a comprehensive active basic research program on the nature of human language and cognition (Relational Frame Theory), echoing back to an earlier era of behavior therapy in which clinical treatments were consciously based on basic behavioral principles. The evidence from correlational, component, process of change, and outcome comparisons relevant to the model are broadly supportive, but the literature is not mature and many questions have not yet been examined. What evidence is available suggests that ACT works through different processes than active treatment comparisons, including traditional Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT). There are not enough well-controlled studies to conclude that ACT is generally more effective than other active treatments across the range of problems examined, but so far the data are promising.
Article
Curiosity, interest, and intrinsic motivation are critical to the development of competence, knowl- edge, and expertise. Without a mechanism of intrinsic motivation, people would rarely explore new things, learn for its own sake, or engage with uncertain tasks despite feelings of confusion and anxiety. This article explores two sides of interest: momentary feelings (the emotion of inter- est) and enduring traits (the character strength of curiosity). Recent theories in emotion psychol- ogy can explain why and when people experience feelings of interest; recent research has illuminated the role of curiosity in cultivating knowledge, meaning in life, close relationships, and physical and mental resilience. The problem for future research - and for social and personality psychology more generally - is how to bridge the dynamics of everyday experience with stable, lifespan aspects of personality.
Article
The theory of mindfulness (Langer, 1989a) shares with some current theories of intelligence an emphasis on the importance of cognitive flexibility. The mindfulness approach to cognitive flexibility differs from the intelligence approach in its conception of the relation between individuals and their environment. Intelligence theory employs a criterion of optimal fit between individual and environment. Mindfulness theory emphasizes that individuals may always define their relation to their environment in several ways. We examine the historical background of this difference between mindfulness and intelligence and find that (a) the concept of intelligence is embedded in a theory of correspondence that has been inherited from the 19th century; (b) current intelligence theories continue to focus on thought as adaptively corresponding to external reality; (c) despite apparent differences between unidimensional and multidimensional approaches to intelligence, common reliance on a criterion of optimal fit engenders more similarity than difference; (d) this similarity prolongs the detrimental effects of intelligence theories on self-perception, perception of others, and the educational process. Mindfulness theory rejects an evaluative standard that is external to the individual's capacity to give meaning to experience. We examine mindful enhancement of personal control and the educational process, and contrast this with the limitations of an intelligence approach.
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terror management theory of self-esteem and social behavior present our conception of what self-esteem is and what functions it serves, followed by a summary of relevant empirical work / explain how a variety of psychological and physical problems result from a lack of self-esteem / explore some of the implications of these notions for clinical practice and social science self-esteem as an anxiety buffer / self-esteem and adaptation / clinical implications of terror management theory (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
There has been substantial interest in mindfulness as an approach to reduce cognitive vulnerability to stress and emotional distress in recent years. However, thus far mindfulness has not been defined operationally. This paper describes the results of recent meetings held to establish a consensus on mindfulness and to develop conjointly a testable operational definition. We propose a two-component model of mindfulness and specify each component in terms of specific behaviors, experiential manifestations, and implicated psychological processes. We then address issues regarding temporal stability and situational specificity and speculate on the conceptual and operational distinctiveness of mindfulness. We conclude this paper by discussing implications for instrument development and briefly describing our own approach to measurement.
Article
The author introduces the special section on mindfulness: four articles that between them explore the correlates of mindfulness in both cross-sectional and treatment studies. Results from these studies, taken together, suggest a close association between higher levels of mindfulness, either as a trait or as cultivated during treatment, and lower levels of rumination, avoidance, perfectionism and maladaptive self-guides. These four characteristics can be seen as different aspects of the same ‘mode of mind’, which prioritizes the resolution of discrepancies between ideas of current and desired states using a test-operate-test-exit sequence. Mindfulness training allows people to recognize when this mode of mind is operating, to disengage from it if they choose, and to enter an alternative mode of mind characterized by prioritizing intentional and direct perception of moment-by-moment experience, in which thoughts are seen as mental events, and judgemental striving for goals is seen, accepted and ‘let go’.
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There are few topics so fascinating both to the research investigator and the research subject as the self-image. It is distinctively characteristic of the human animal that he is able to stand outside himself and to describe, judge, and evaluate the person he is. He is at once the observer and the observed, the judge and the judged, the evaluator and the evaluated. Since the self is probably the most important thing in the world to him, the question of what he is like and how he feels about himself engrosses him deeply. This is especially true during the adolescent stage of development.
Article
Given curiosity's fundamental role in motivation, learning, and well-being, we sought to refine the measurement of trait curiosity with an improved version of the Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI; Kashdan, Rose, & Fincham, 2004). A preliminary pool of 36 items was administered to 311 undergraduate students, who also completed measures of emotion, emotion regulation, personality, and well-being. Factor analyses indicated a two factor model-motivation to seek out knowledge and new experiences (Stretching; 5 items) and a willingness to embrace the novel, uncertain, and unpredictable nature of everyday life (Embracing; 5 items). In two additional samples (ns = 150 and 119), we cross-validated this factor structure and provided initial evidence for construct validity. This includes positive correlations with personal growth, openness to experience, autonomy, purpose in life, self-acceptance, psychological flexibility, positive affect, and positive social relations, among others. Applying item response theory (IRT) to these samples (n = 578), we showed that the items have good discrimination and a desirable breadth of difficulty. The item information functions and test information function were centered near zero, indicating that the scale assesses the mid-range of the latent curiosity trait most reliably. The findings thus far provide good evidence for the psychometric properties of the 10-item CEI-II.
Article
A meta-analysis was conducted on empirical trials investigating the mortality salience (MS) hypothesis of terror management theory (TMT). TMT postulates that investment in cultural worldviews and self-esteem serves to buffer the potential for death anxiety; the MS hypothesis states that, as a consequence, accessibility of death-related thought (MS) should instigate increased worldview and self-esteem defense and striving. Overall, 164 articles with 277 experiments were included. MS yielded moderate effects (r = .35) on a range of worldview- and self-esteem-related dependent variables (DVs), with effects increased for experiments using (a) American participants, (b) college students, (c) a longer delay between MS and the DV, and (d) people-related attitudes as the DV. Gender and self-esteem may moderate MS effects differently than previously thought. Results are compared to other reviews and examined with regard to alternative explanations of TMT. Finally, suggestions for future research are offered.
Article
Positive affects high in approach motivational intensity narrow attention. The present study extended this recent finding by testing whether a neural activation associated with approach-motivation intensity--relative left frontal-central activity--would underlie the effect of appetitive stimuli on narrowed attention (as measured by local attentional bias). It also tested whether individual differences in approach motivation relate to this attentional narrowing. Results supported predictions, suggesting a common association of relative left frontal hemispheric processing for approach-motivational processes and narrowed attention.
Article
The authors review evidence that self-control may consume a limited resource. Exerting self-control may consume self-control strength, reducing the amount of strength available for subsequent self-control efforts. Coping with stress, regulating negative affect, and resisting temptations require self-control, and after such self-control efforts, subsequent attempts at self-control are more likely to fail. Continuous self-control efforts, such as vigilance, also degrade over time. These decrements in self-control are probably not due to negative moods or learned helplessness produced by the initial self-control attempt. These decrements appear to be specific to behaviors that involve self-control; behaviors that do not require self-control neither consume nor require self-control strength. It is concluded that the executive component of the self--in particular, inhibition--relies on a limited, consumable resource.
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common reaction to traumatic events. Many people recover in the ensuing months, but in a significant subgroup the symptoms persist, often for years. A cognitive model of persistence of PTSD is proposed. It is suggested that PTSD becomes persistent when individuals process the trauma in a way that leads to a sense of serious, current threat. The sense of threat arises as a consequence of: (1) excessively negative appraisals of the trauma and/or its sequelae and (2) a disturbance of autobiographical memory characterised by poor elaboration and contextualization, strong associative memory and strong perceptual priming. Change in the negative appraisals and the trauma memory are prevented by a series of problematic behavioural and cognitive strategies. The model is consistent with the main clinical features of PTSD, helps explain several apparently puzzling phenomena and provides a framework for treatment by identifying three key targets for change. Recent studies have provided preliminary support for several aspects of the model.
Article
Mindfulness is an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. This research provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the role of mindfulness in psychological well-being. The development and psychometric properties of the dispositional Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) are described. Correlational, quasi-experimental, and laboratory studies then show that the MAAS measures a unique quality of consciousness that is related to a variety of well-being constructs, that differentiates mindfulness practitioners from others, and that is associated with enhanced self-awareness. An experience-sampling study shows that both dispositional and state mindfulness predict self-regulated behavior and positive emotional states. Finally, a clinical intervention study with cancer patients demonstrates that increases in mindfulness over time relate to declines in mood disturbance and stress.
The integrating self and conscious experience Handbook of self-determination research
  • H S Hodgins
  • C R Knee
Hodgins, H. S., & Knee, C. R. (2002). The integrating self and conscious experience. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 87-100). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.