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Don't Be So Hard on Yourself: Self-Compassion Facilitates Creative Originality Among Self-Judgmental Individuals



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ISSN: 1040-0419 (Print) 1532-6934 (Online) Journal homepage:
Don't Be So Hard on Yourself: Self-Compassion
Facilitates Creative Originality Among Self-
Judgmental Individuals
Darya L. Zabelina & Michael D. Robinson
To cite this article: Darya L. Zabelina & Michael D. Robinson (2010) Don't Be So Hard on
Yourself: Self-Compassion Facilitates Creative Originality Among Self-Judgmental Individuals,
CREATIVITY RESEARCH JOURNAL, 22:3, 288-293, DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2010.503538
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Published online: 10 Aug 2010.
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Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself: Self-Compassion Facilitates
Creative Originality Among Self-Judgmental Individuals
Darya L. Zabelina
Northwestern University
Michael D. Robinson
North Dakota State University
Self-compassion is a multifaceted state of potential utility in alleviating the self-critical
tendencies that may undermine creative expressions among certain individuals. To
investigate this idea, 86 undergraduates were randomly assigned to control or
self-compassion conditions, following which creative originality was assessed by a
version of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). The manipulation was
hypothesized to facilitate creative originality particularly among individuals who are
prone to critical self-judgment, as assessed by a trait measure. This interactive hypoth-
esis was supported: Self-judgmental individuals displayed lower levels of creative
originality in the control condition, but equal levels of creative originality in the
self-compassion condition. Results are discussed in the context of theories of creative
potential, self-compassion, and chronic tendencies toward self-criticism.
Self-compassion involves viewing the self with kindness
and compassion, which has been theorized to be parti-
cularly important when negative events and experiences
occur (Bennett-Goleman, 2001). Although this construct
originates from Buddhist concepts and practices (Kornfield
& Walsh, 1993), there is increased recognition that self-
compassion may be of secular (i.e., non-Buddhist) utility
in alleviating high levels of shyness and self-criticism
(Gilbert, 2005), as well as facilitating more flexible appro-
aches to suffering (Germer, 2009). In this context, Neff
(2003b) stated that self-compassion involves ‘‘being open
to and moved by one’s own suffering, experiencing feelings
of caring and kindness toward oneself, taking an under-
standing, nonjudgmental attitude toward one’s inadequa-
cies and failures, and recognizing that one’s experience is
part of the common human experience’’ (p. 224).
A small, but promising, body of findings has pro-
vided empirical support for the beneficial nature of
self-compassion among nonclinical samples. For
example, Neff (2003a) found that individuals scoring
low in dispositional self-compassion (i.e., self-critical
individuals) were more anxious and depressed. Sub-
sequently, Leary, Tate, Adams, Allen, and Hancock
(2007) developed a state-related manipulation of
self-compassion and showed that it appeared to reduce
defensive responding and increase levels of resiliency
and equanimity. The dependent measures for both of
these studies, though, were predominantly of a
self-reported nature. Our study significantly extends this
prior literature by seeking to understand whether, and
for whom, a self-compassion manipulation facilitates
original creative thinking.
A self-compassionate mindset may facilitate higher
levels of creative originality, with the caveat that no
studies have directly investigated this interface. None-
theless, Neff (2003a) found that self-compassionate indi-
viduals reported engaging in tasks for more intrinsic
Darya L. Zabelina acknowledges support from an NSF Graduate
Correspondence should be sent to Darya L. Zabelina, Department
of Psychology, Northwestern University, 2029 Sheridan Road–102 Swift
Hall, Evanston, IL 60298. E-mail:
Copyright #Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1040-0419 print=1532-6934 online
DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2010.503538
reasons, and intrinsic motivation has been shown to
facilitate higher levels of creative originality (Collins &
Amabile, 1999; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Additionally, Neff,
Hsieh, and Dejitterat (2005) found that self-compassion
was positively associated with a mastery orientation to
tasks, which, too, tends to facilitate creative perfor-
mance (Silvia, 2006). The creativity literature has
additionally shown that lower levels of creative self-
efficacy, which may be linked to lesser self-compassion
in more general terms (Neff, 2003b), are predictive of
lower levels of creative originality (Choi, 2004; Tierney
& Farmer, 2002, 2004).
Accordingly, there were reasons for thinking that the
variables and processes highlighted in the self-compassion
literature would be of value in understanding creative
performance. To investigate potential links of this type,
dispositional tendencies toward critical self-judgment were
assessed (Neff, 2003a). Additionally, a self-compassionate
mindset was experimentally manipulated using the
priming procedures of Leary et al. (2007). Subsequently,
all participants completed a test of creative potential
(Goff & Torrance, 2002). It was hypothesized that
self-judgmental individuals would exhibit lesser creative
originality in a control condition, but that this deficit
would be equalized following the induction of a
self-compassionate mindset. If so, trait tendencies toward
self-judgment and manipulated levels of self-compassion
should interact to predict creative originality scores.
Because the processes examined here are likely to involve
self-censoring novel, original ideas (Beghetto, 2006;
Tierney & Farmer, 2002), it was hypothesized that
observed effects should be particular to creative originality
rather than the mere fluency of creative output.
Participants and Recruitment
Participants were 86 (55 male) undergraduate psy-
chology students from North Dakota State University
who were required to participate in a number of
research studies in return for course credit. The majority
of them were freshmen or sophomores, Caucasian in
race (>90%), and their mean age was 20.01. To sign
up for the study, students logged into the department’s
Sona Internet registration software and entered their
names within a relevant time-slot. Approximately 10%
of the students did not show up for their session, but
there was 100% participation among those who did.
Self-compassion should be particularly relevant under
conditions in which the self’s flaws have been made
salient (Leary et al., 2007). Accordingly, and to control
for the fact that merely writing about a negative event
can have therapeutic effects (Pennebaker, Colder, &
Sharp, 1990), all participants wrote about a negative
personal experience from the past. Writing instructions
were closely modeled on those of Leary et al. (2007)
and asked participants to ‘‘think about a negative event
that they experienced in high school or college that
made them feel badly about themselves—something that
involved failure, humiliation, or rejection.’’ Participants
were asked to describe the event and then provide details
regarding what led up to it, who was present, precisely
what happened, and how they felt and behaved at the
time. After writing about the event for 5 min, parti-
cipants were then randomly assigned to either a control
condition or one designed to induce a self-
compassionate mindset.
Participants in the control condition continued to
write about the event without additional instructions.
Participants assigned to the self-compassion condition
received three additional prompts designed to encourage
a self-compassionate orientation to the self, again
modeled after the procedures of Leary et al. (2007).
The first prompt asked individuals to list ways in which
others also experience similar events (designed to evoke
a common humanity perspective). The second prompt
asked individuals to write a paragraph expressing under-
standing, kindness, and concern for the self in a manner
similar to the way in which they would sympathize with
a friend who had undergone the experience (designed to
evoke a self-kindness perspective). The third prompt
asked individuals to view the event in an objective,
detached manner (designed to evoke a mindfulness per-
spective). The three prompts collectively, then, sought
to instantiate the multifaceted state of self-compassion
in a manner consistent with how this state is defined
and understood in the literature (Leary et al., 2007;
Neff, 2003b).
Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA). Crea-
tive performance was assessed using the ATTA (Goff &
Torrance, 2002), a shortened form of the TTCT
(Torrance, 1974). The ATTA consists of three activities,
one involving verbal responses and two involving figural
responses (e.g., using presented geometrical shapes to
draw a more complete picture). Goff and Torrance
provided evidence for the reliability and validity of this
assessment of creative performance. Responses were
scored for fluency (i.e., a count of the number of perti-
nent responses) and originality (i.e., the number of
responses that were unique and original), and scores
were then summed across the three activities (Goff &
Torrance, 2002).
Prior to scoring the ATTA protocols, the first author
initially achieved a very high level of agreement with
example responses from the manual. The first author
also submitted a subset of ATTA protocols from a prior
study (Zabelina & Robinson, 2010) to the test
developers. Again, a very high level of agreement with
the test developers was obtained, rs >.90. Accordingly,
the first author scored all ATTA protocols from this
study, and did so blind to individual differences in
self-judgment and priming condition.
Individual differences in critical self-judgment. Parti-
cipants completed the self-judgment scale developed
and validated by Neff (2003a). This scale asks individuals
to indicate the frequency (1 ¼almost never;5¼almost
always) with which they are habitually self-critical (e.g.,
‘‘I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own
flaws and inadequacies’’). Neff (2003a) reported a .77
Cronbach’s alpha for this scale and an alpha coefficient
of .63 was found in the present study.
Mood. Mood was assessed following ATTA
performance for the sake of discriminant validity. Par-
ticipants rated the extent to which their present mood
state could be characterized as positive (1 ¼very positive;
7¼not positive) and negative (1 ¼very negative;7¼not
negative) in relation to these two mood items.
Reverse-scoring procedures were used such that higher
numbers reflected a more pleasant and=or less
unpleasant momentary state (Russell & Carroll, 1999).
Although the mood scale administered was brief, it
was highly reliable (alpha ¼.74). Accordingly, a com-
posite variable of mood state was calculated.
The laboratory consisted of 6 private cubicles and, thus,
participants were run in groups of 1–6 individuals at a
time. Upon entering the lab, participants were informed
that the study would consist of three different, ostensibly
unrelated tasks: a writing task (i.e., the manipulation of
state self-compassion), a performance task (i.e., the
ATTA), and the completion of some questionnaires.
Instructions for the writing task were verbally adminis-
tered and it was thus deemed best to randomly assign ses-
sions, rather than individuals to writing conditions. As it
turned out, such procedures resulted in a slightly higher
proportion of individuals assigned to the self-compassion
condition (n¼50) relative to the control condition
(n¼36), but the important point is that participants were
randomly assigned to condition nonetheless.
After completing the writing task, which was inter-
rupted at 10 min for both conditions, participants were
told that they would then complete a very different task
(i.e., the creative performance task). Following manual-
based procedures, individuals were given 3 min for each
of the three ATTA activities, for a total of 9 min. Upon
completion of the ATTA, mood states were assessed.
Finally, individual differences in self-judgment were
assessed. Such procedures precluded the possibility that
reporting on mood and=or one’s personality tendencies
could affect ATTA performance in an order-effect man-
ner (Robinson, 2007). In support of such procedures,
the self-compassion manipulation did not influence trait
self-judgment scores, F<1, and results involving mood
states will be reported below.
Initial Results
From the ATTA test of creative performance, fluency
scores averaged 11.08 (SD ¼3.60) and originality scores
averaged 6.07 (SD ¼3.54). Fluency and originality
scores exhibited a slight positive correlation, but one
that was not significant, r¼.13, p>.20. This finding is
in accordance with the creative performance literature
(Runco, 2008). None of the predictors—the manipu-
lation, individual differences in critical self-judgment,
or their interaction—were informative in understanding
ATTA fluency scores, ps>.70. Thus, the findings
reported in the following are specific to the originality
of ATTA responses, as hypothesized.
Hypotheses Involving Originality
The self-compassion manipulation was hypothesized to
facilitate creative originality particularly among
self-critical individuals. To set the stage for the relevant
analysis, a dummy-coded variable was created for the
self-compassion manipulation (1¼control condition;
þ1¼self-compassion condition). Then, individual differ-
ences in critical self-judgment tendencies were z-scored.
Finally, an interaction term was created by multiplying
these standardized predictors.
Predictions were assessed in a hierarchical multiple
regression, with creative originality scores as the depen-
dent measure. Step 1 of the regression entered the two
main effect predictors simultaneously. Neither the
self-compassion manipulation, t¼1.19, Beta ¼.13,
p¼.24, nor trait variations in levels of self-judgment,
t¼1.1, Beta ¼.12, p¼.27, were significant predic-
tors. Step 2 of the regression then entered the (manipu-
lation trait) interaction term. As hypothesized, there
was an interaction among these variables and it
explained a significant proportion of variance in creative
originality not explained by the step 1 main effect pre-
dictors, t¼2.30, Fchange ¼5.29, Beta ¼.24, p<.05.
Thus, the manipulation facilitated creative originality
particularly among some individuals relative to others.
To determine the nature of the interactive pattern, esti-
mated originality scores for individuals low (1SD) versus
high (þ1SD) in critical self-judgment for each condition
were separately computed. The resulting estimated
means are displayed in Figure 1. As shown there, the
lowest levels of originality were observed among
self-judgmental individuals in the control condition.
By contrast, it appeared that the induction of self-
compassion was particularly conducive to creative orig-
inality among such highly self-judgmental individuals.
To further understand the interactive pattern
observed, several follow-up analyses were conducted.
To determine the effects of the manipulation at low
versus high levels of self-judgment, a median split
procedure was performed. Among individuals below the
median in tendencies toward critical self-judgment, there
was no effect of the self-compassion manipulation, F<1.
However, for individuals high (i.e., above the median) in
such self-judgmental tendencies, the self-compassion
manipulation facilitated creative originality, F¼5.21,
p<.05. Thus, the results indicate that there are benefits
to a self-compassionate mindset, but particularly so to
the extent that one is generally self-judgmental.
It was hypothesized that tendencies toward critical
self-judgment would undermine the originality of cre-
ative output, but particularly so in the absence of an
induced self-compassionate mindset. To assess such
predictions, trait and originality scores were correlated,
separately so for each condition. As predicted, in the
absence of a manipulation of self-compassion, trait
tendencies toward critical self-judgment were a strong
inverse predictor of creative originality, r¼.44, p<.01.
On the other hand, there was no such correlation in
the self-compassion induction condition, r¼.09,
p>.50. These results again reaffirm the value of a
self-compassionate mindset for those generally prone
to self-criticism.
Potential sex differences were examined in a multiple
regression in which the manipulation, critical self-
judgment tendencies, sex (1¼male; þ1¼female),
and all interaction terms were simultaneously regressed
in the prediction of originality scores. There was no
main effect for sex, p>.40. Two-way interactions
involving participant sex were also nonsignificant,
ps>.05. Of most importance, there was no hint of a
three-way interaction, p>.35. Thus, the interactive
results reported in Figure 1 were equally characteristic
of men and women.
Results Involving Mood States
Creative performance varies by mood states, though in a
complicated manner (Baas, De Dreu, & Nijstad, 2008).
The present hypotheses were not of this mood-related
type. In fact, self-compassion and self-criticism are not
viewed in mood related terms, but rather in terms of
the extent to which negative events and experiences
stymie the self and its creative potential (Germer,
2009; Leary et al., 2007). Accordingly, results were
hypothesized to be independent of potential mood-
related confounds.
The self-compassion manipulation (1¼control
condition;þ1¼self-compassion condition) used in this
study did not influence mood states, p>.35. Addition-
ally, self-judgmental individuals did not report more
unpleasant mood states, p>.90. Independent of these
predictors, more positive mood states were not predic-
tive of higher levels of creativity originality, p>.30.
Finally, there was no interaction of the manipulation
and self-judgment tendencies in predicting mood states,
p>.95. Thus, the results reported above are inde-
pendent of mood-related considerations.
Implications Related to Self-Compassion
and Creativity
A small but growing literature has suggested that a
self-compassionate mindset may be generally beneficial
to optimal functioning (e.g., Neff, 2003a; Neff et al.,
2005). Yet, the outcomes examined have been almost
if not exclusively self-reported in nature. Our dependent
measure—original creative performance—was of an
objectively-scored, rather than self-reported, type.
For this reason, the study’s results encourage a wider
consideration of the potential value that a self-
compassionate mindset may play in other behavioral
realms in which inhibitory self-related processes have
been implicated (Carver & White, 1994; Kagan &
Snidman, 1991; Kruglanski & Chun, 2008; Pyszczynski,
FIGURE 1 Creative originality as a function of chronic tendencies
toward self-judgment and manipulated states of self-compassion.
Greenberg, Solomon, Arndt, & Schimel, 2004; Steele,
The effects of the self-compassion manipulation in
this study can be considered from two perspectives.
Because this induction facilitated creative output among
some individuals, but did not undermine it among
others, it appears that inductions of this type may be
generally efficacious in removing some of the barriers
to uncensored output generally thought to undermine
original creative thinking (Cropley, 2001). On the other
hand, because the manipulation interacted with more
general tendencies toward critical self-judgment, it
appears that only some individuals are likely to benefit
from inductions of this type. Such interactive results
are intuitive because only self-judgmental individuals
are likely to self-impose restrictions to their creative out-
put, and it is for this reason that only such individuals
are likely to benefit from a manipulation designed to
remove such self-imposed restrictions.
The variables examined in this study were predictive
of creative originally, but not its fluency. In understand-
ing this dissociation, higher levels of creative fluency can
be achieved in either conventional or original terms
(Runco, 2008). For this reason, fluency, per se, is rela-
tively uninformative in understanding original thinking
of the sort most emphasized by creativity researchers
(Goff & Torrance, 2002; Torrance, 1974). Instead, the
production of original thoughts in creativity tasks is
likely to require some degree of risk-taking (Tierney &
Farmer, 2002). Self-compassion and self-criticism, it is
suggested, are particularly relevant in understanding
whether the individual can ignore the self-censure often
proposed to be inimical to original creative thinking
(Cropley, 2001; Kashdan, Rose, & Fincham, 2004;
Silvia, 2008).
Questions and Further Research Directions
The state of self-compassion theoretically involves
self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness
(Neff, 2003b). This conjunction of qualities has been
supported in psychometric terms (Neff, 2003a). Never-
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may be important to differentiate these three purported
mechanisms (Leary et al., 2007). Self-judgmental ten-
dencies were assessed in terms of Neff’s (2003a) relevant
trait scale, but could be assessed in terms of tendencies
toward perfectionism as well, potentially in a multi-
dimensional manner (e.g., Frost, Marten, Lahart, &
Rosenblatt, 1990). Finally, it would be valuable to
extend our results by assessing relations between
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... However, besides these variables, it is seen that variables such as anxiety (n= 6), rumination/ruminative thinking style (n= 4), self-criticism/selfjudgment (n= 4), shame and guilt (n= 3), physical symptoms such as pain (n= 3), eating disorder-related variables (n= 2), stress (n= 2), narcissism (n=1), gratitude (n=1), optimism (n=1), mindfulness (n=1), coping (n=1), and quality of life (n=1) were also examined. Considering positive physical, emotional, or performance-based gains in the self-compassion-focused writing group, it is seen that positive changes such as the increase in positive affect, decrease in negative affect (Odou and Brinker 2015), increase in self-compassion (Sherman et al. 2018), decrease in depression (Shapiro and Mongrain 2010), better mental performance (Zabelina and Robinson 2010), and reduction in physical symptoms such as pain Mak 2016, Ziemer et al. 2017) were obtained. ...
In the current systematic review study, it is focused on examining the interventions of 'self-compassion-focused writing', which is a method that combines the concept of self-compassion, which has gained attention in the psychology literature in recent years, and the Written Emotional Disclosure Paradigm which is based on expressing emotions by writing. For this purpose, ScienceDirect, PsycINFO, Web of Science, PubMed, EbscoHost and DergiPark databases were searched through various keywords. Considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study, 31 studies determined to be fit for purpose were examined in terms of sample characteristics, methodology and results. It was observed that the studies were generally conducted with college students and predominantly female, the results were compared with the active intervention groups, random assignment was made to the groups, and repeated measurements were taken. Generally, it has been determined that self-compassion-focused writing provides positive changes on psychological (depression, positive/negative affect), body-related (body satisfaction, body image) and physical (pain) variables. In the reviewed studies, it was concluded that self-compassion-focused writing generally tended to produce stronger positive results compared to active control groups (traditional writing, self-esteem-based writing). Besides, it was observed that the positive changes obtained in studies that carried out follow-up evaluations tended to continue partially. The results show that self-compassion-focused writing is a promising method.
... (1) Well-Being (2) ‫بي‬ ‫الغر‬ (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2010;Craft, 2001;Guliford, 1987;Roweton, 1970 Knight, Parr, 1999;Zabelina& (Robinson, 2010;Allen, Goldwasser& Leary, 2012 ) . Maslow, 1999Rogers, 1954;Iskender, 2009;Manavipour& Saeedian, 2016;Neff& Dahm, 2015 (Ardelt, , 2003(Ardelt, , 2004Bergsma& Ardelt, 2012 (Anderson, 1998;Lopez, Sanderman, Ranchor& Schroeverss, 2018 ...
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هدفت الدراسة الراهنة إلى بحث علاقة الرحمة بالذات والحكمة- بوصفهما من سمات الشخصية - بالقدرات الإبداعية، ومدى إسهامهما في التنبؤ بهذه القدرات لَدى طلاب الجامعة، حيث تكونت عينة الدراسة من (426) طالبًا وطالبةً من الدارسين بجامعة القاهرة وجامعة حلوان، وتراوحت أعمارهم بين (18-23) سنة، وقد بلغ عدد الذكور في العينة (204) ذكور، بمتوسط عمري (20.95) سنة، بانحراف معياري (1.543) سنة، في حين بلغ عدد الإناث (222) أنثى، بمتوسط عمري (20.11) سنة، بانحراف معياري (1.179) سنة، تم اختيارهم من (10) كليات: (4) كليات نظرية بجامعة القاهرة، هي: (الآداب-التجارة- الحقوق- الاقتصاد والعلوم السياسية)، (6) كليات عملية، خمسة منها بجامعة القاهرة، وهي: (الهندسة- العلوم- الحسابات والمعلومات- الزراعة- العلاج الطبيعي)، وأخرى بجامعة حلوان، والمتمثلة في ( كلية الفنون الجميلة)، موزعين على جميع الفرق الدراسية (إعدادي- الأولى- الثانية- الثالثة- الرابعة). طبق عليهم استخبار الرحمة بالذات، واستخبار الحكمة، وبطارية اختبارات القدرات الإبداعية. وقد كشفت نتائج معاملات الارتباط غير الخطية والانحدار غير الخطي البسيط، وجود علاقة منحنية بين الرحمة بالذات بأبعادها (الرفق بالذات- الحس الإنسانى المشترك-التعقل) وقدرات التفكير الإبداعى(الطلاقة الفكرية، المرونة التلقائية، والأصالة)، بالإضافة إلى قدرتها التنبؤية بهذه القدرات. كما وجدت العلاقة المنحنية بين الحكمة بمكوناتها المختلفة (المعرفي- الوجداني- السلوكي) وقدرات التفكير الإبداعى(الطلاقة الفكرية، المرونة التلقائية، والأصالة)، بالإضافة إلى قدرتها التنبؤية بهذه القدرات.
... Readiness is believed to be internal processes that energise and direct behaviour. Robinson (2010) has identified its crucial role in satisfaction with life for military men who recently changes their roles. The second factor, career confidence, assesses how much efficacy a person feels towards completing the tasks necessary to make a successful career transition. ...
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Pre-retirement life satisfaction is a key issue to human resource management as it affects overall wellbeing in the public service. Career transition, job satisfaction and pre-retirement satisfaction relationships have not been explored in extant literatures. This study examined the determinants of life satisfaction among civil servants nearing retirement in Lagos State. Four hundred and Eight-eight (488) employees-close-to-retirement were selected from target ministries, and were sampled through a multi-stage sampling procedure. A self-report questionnaire was used to collect the data which was analysed using descriptive statistics and PPMC correlation analysis. Job satisfaction, Career transition readiness, and Self-efficacy were positive correlates of life satisfaction. In addition, self-esteem and career support had inverse relationship with Life Satisfaction. It was concluded that employees with high self-confidence, transition ready and positive job satisfaction were more satisfied with life. These haveimplication retaining managerial talents, creating bridge work and career transition in the public service.
... Most of the scientists have specified building immunity as a strong coping mechanism against fighting COVID-19. Poor occupational health could be one of an important stressors for mental health (Zabelina and Robinson 2010). The next section explains the severity of the mental health hazard in detail. ...
This study examines the impact of COVID fatigue on mental health amidst the pandemic. In particular, it tries to understand the mediating role of compassion in the equation between COVID fatigue, corona anxiety, social support, and mental health. Systematic review was conducted to understand the interrelationship among chosen variables. Hierarchical regression was used as a tool of empirical evidence for the derived interrelationships. The results from a survey of 307 white-collar employees from public sector organizations in India confirmed the mediating role of compassion on mental health. The results state that a unit change in the dependent variables of COVID fatigue, corona anxiety, and social support can have an impact of 9.7% on the mental health quotient. It was also found out that introducing a unit of compassion in the equation will mediate the impact to 3.7%. In this study, 61.1% of participants were categorized as psychologically fatigued and 38.9% as psychologically non-fatigued. Implications for the theory and practice of compassion are discussed, and future research directions offered.
... As previously established, self-compassion is a practice that boosts optimism. Additionally, while there have been no direct studies on the relationship between self-compassion and imagination, selfcompassion has been shown to positively correlate with creativity, for which imagination serves as an impetus (Vygotsky, 1930(Vygotsky, /2004Zabelina & Robinson, 2010). Given that self-compassion frees us up from self-judgment and enhances curiosity and exploration, it seems likely that it might boost our imagination or at least allow us to focus on what's possible, versus ruminating on what's likely to go wrong (Neff et al., 2017). ...
In the early 1990’s, Gloria Steinem, a leader of the feminist movement, authored the book A Revolution from Within: Self-Esteem to help empower girls and women. Decades later, females continue to suffer disproportionately from higher occurrences of psychological disorders and distress, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-harm behaviors. While causes are likely multi-faceted, research shows that girls and women experience high levels of shame and self-criticism. In essence, we are at war with ourselves. Drawing largely from research in the field of positive psychology, and contrasting with Steinem’s theory on self-esteem, this paper illustrates how self-compassion may address this inner conflict, revolutionizing our relationship to self, others, and the world around us. The three elements of self-compassion - mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness – collectively interact, producing the stabilizing and powerful downstream effects of greater belonging, safety, wholeness, resilience, and self-authorship and agency. When women practice self-compassion, we profoundly change how we show up in the world. As we do, we are able to model self-compassion for our girls, helping to empower the next generation of women – the most revolutionary act of all.
... Self-compassion may be particularly useful in psycho-oncology as it is argued to improve individuals' ability to react adaptively and cope with negative events, and allow them to be less critical about the limitations and psychosocial difficulties associated with their cancer experience (Campo et al., 2017;Przezdziecki & Sherman, 2016). Promisingly, the benefits of self-compassion appear particularly pronounced for those low in trait self-compassion and high in self-judgement (Leary et al., 2007;Zabelina & Robinson, 2010). Additionally, while mindfulness is conceptualised as a key component of both ACT (Hulbert-Williams et al., 2015) and self-compassion (Neff, 2003b), this focus on being purposefully and non-judgementally present in the moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) has been suggested to be independently useful for young people affected by cancer, allowing them to put overwhelming thoughts, feelings and occurrences into perspective . ...
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Adolescents impacted by their own or a relative’s cancer diagnosis experience significant psychosocial needs. Residential programmes provide opportunities to address these, yet limited evaluation research and unclear reporting of therapeutic and theoretical underpinnings complicate efforts to understand programme effects. This paper reports the development and process evaluation of PEER, a four-day programme with psychosocial (acceptance and commitment therapy, self-compassion) and recreational components for adolescents impacted by their own or a parent/sibling’s cancer. Staff (N = 51) and adolescents (N = 148, 12–17 years) who attended a PEER programme participated in this evaluation. The evaluation of fidelity included measures of facilitators’ confidence to deliver content, adherence to the programme manual, quality of programme delivery, participants’ engagement, and overall satisfaction. The process evaluation included assessment of quality of life, distress, and process variables (psychological flexibility, mindfulness, self-compassion) at pre-programme, post-programme, and two-month follow-up, as well as qualitative feedback from participants and facilitators. Moderation analyses identified predictors of clinically significant improvement in psychosocial outcomes. The programme was delivered with good fidelity, and participants reported high satisfaction and engagement. Approximately 15–20% of participants experienced clinically-meaningful improvements in distress and quality of life; those who reported higher distress and lower baseline psychological flexibility, mindfulness and self-kindness experienced greater improvements. Qualitative feedback additionally evidenced the value of peer connection and support. The evaluation evidences PEER’s feasibility, acceptability and value for adolescents impacted by cancer, particularly those experiencing greater distress. Its success indicates the potential of the therapeutic approaches used, and for community organisations to develop interventions complementing services offered by healthcare systems.
... Compassion transforms relationships to promote healing; high-quality connections; and increased relational resources, like trust and interconnectedness (Dutton, Lillius, and Kanov, 2007). These kinds of values can promote relationship growth (Canevello & Crocker, 2011) and specific types of compassion, like self-compassion, can promote greater creativity within those relationships (Zabelina & Robinson, 2010). ...
... Even if attempted, verbalising an intuition taking form might be next to impossible; and, unfortunately, few of us countenance the "half-baked" ideas and musings of others (and have learned to keep our own to ourselves). We say "unfortunately" because rejections, criticisms, and self-censure kill ideas before they have a chance to become creative solutions and innovations (Watts et al, 2017;Zabelina & Robinson, 2010). ...
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Critical Presencing is a synergistic merging of two, till now, distinct concepts and disciplines: presencing and Critical Learnership. This fusion permits us to obtain the greatest possible value from presence and presencing, criticality, and continuous and purposeful learning. Each of the concepts and disciplines are explained fully in the body of this chapter, and their individual components and their interrelationships identified and illustrated. The crux of our unfolding discussion hinges on the following understandings and propositions. As used here, presencing implies two main purposes and states: (1) intentional action to be present, as in mindful awareness of one’s purposeful engagement in and interaction with the world (task, situation, other persons); and (2) intentional action to bring into presence desirable ends—to make material the immaterial, the intuitive, the possibilities sensed though not yet manifest.
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This paper considers the benefits of applying a compassionate approach to the practice of writing. Compassion is seen through the lens of mindfulness and the paper considers its definitions, origins as a Buddhist practice and its practical applications in the West. A review of the literature synthesises approaches from the fields of mindfulness studies, psychology, creative writing and therapeutic writing. The paper considers the inner critic as an obstacle to writing and goes on to consider the benefits of seeking safe and compassionate space, both tangible and imagined, in which to write. As a writer, tutor and workshop facilitator, I draw on my auto-ethnographic research of compassionate meditation by sharing reflections from my journals.
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Relatively little research has addressed the positive outcomes of creativity. Several studies have reported that creativity in the arts is correlated with good mental health. Based on the recent Honing Theory of Creativity, this research aimed at analyzing the relation between artistic achievements and low emotion dysregulation. The second aim was to examine the mediating and moderating role of self-compassion in this relation, as this factor has previously been associated with both creativity and low emotion dysregulation. A cross-sectional research was conducted among 168 participants, who were recruited in academic and non-academic settings. The participants mostly presented levels of everyday create achievements. They completed questionnaires about their creative achievements in the arts, along with their difficulties in emotion regulation and their levels of self-compassion. The results showed that artistic achievements were negatively associated with emotion dysregulation, and positively associated with self-compassion. Mediation analyses showed that the significant relation between high artistic achievements and low emotion dysregulation was mediated by self-compassion. Moderation analyses indicated that individuals with the lowest-to-moderate levels of self-compassion reported the highest associations between high artistic achievements and low emotion dysregulation. No significant moderation effect was found for individuals with high levels of self-compassion. Overall, this research showed positive associations between artistic creativity and indices of positive psychological functioning.
Gray (1981, 1982) holds that 2 general motivational systems underlie behavior and affect: a behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and a behavioral activation system (BAS). Self-report scales to assess dispositional BIS and BAS sensitivities were created. Scale development (Study 1) and convergent and discriminant validity in the form of correlations with alternative measures are reported (Study 2). In Study 3, a situation in which Ss anticipated a punishment was created. Controlling for initial nervousness, Ss high in BIS sensitivity (assessed earlier) were more nervous than those low. In Study 4, a situation in which Ss anticipated a reward was created. Controlling for initial happiness, Ss high in BAS sensitivity (Reward Responsiveness and Drive scales) were happier than those low. In each case the new scales predicted better than an alternative measure. Discussion is focused on conceptual implications.
A general theory of domain identification is used to describe achievement barriers still faced by women in advanced quantitative areas and by African Americans in school. The theory assumes that sustained school success requires identification with school and its subdomains; that societal pressures on these groups (e.g., economic disadvantage, gender roles) can frustrate this identification; and that in school domains where these groups are negatively stereotyped, those who have become domain identified face the further barrier of stereotype threat, the threat that others' judgments or their own actions will negatively stereotype them in the domain. Research shows that this threat dramatically depresses the standardized test performance of women and African Americans who are in the academic vanguard of their groups (offering a new interpretation of group differences in standardized test performance), that it causes disidentification with school, and that practices that reduce this threat can reduce these negative effects.
This article defines the construct of self-compassion and describes the development of the Self-Compassion Scale. Self-compassion entails being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one's experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them. Evidence for the validity and reliability of the scale is presented in a series of studies. Results indicate that self-compassion is significantly correlated with positive mental health outcomes such as less depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction. Evidence is also provided for the discriminant validity of the scale, including with regard to self-esteem measures.
Using data from two different firms, this study tested a new construct, creative selfefficacy, tapping employees' beliefs that they can be creative in their work roles. Results support the discriminant validity of the construct and indicate that job tenure, job self-efficacy, supervisor behavior, and job complexity contribute to creative efficacy beliefs. Creative self-efficacy also predicted creative performance beyond the predictive effects of job self-efficacy. Differences in results between white-collar and blue-collar samples suggest considerations for both theory and practice.
Psychologists have always been intrigued in interest, and modern research on interest can be found in nearly every area of the field: researchers studying emotions, cognition, development, education, aesthetics, personality, motivation, and vocations have developed intriguing ideas about what interest is and how it works. This book presents an integrated picture of how interest has been studied in all of the wide-ranging areas of psychology. Using modern theories of cognition and emotion as an integrative framework, it examines the nature of interest, what makes things interesting, the role of interest in personality, and the development of people's idiosyncratic interests, hobbies, and avocations. The examination reveals deep similarities between seemingly different fields of psychology and illustrates the profound importance of interest, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation for understanding why people do what they do. A comprehensive work devoted to interest, this book reviews the history of psychological thought on interest, presents classic and modern research, and suggests fruitful directions for future work.
When children play, they often do so in very original ways. However, with the responsibilities of adulthood, this playful curiosity is sometimes lost and conventional responses often result. In the present study, 76 undergraduates were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions before creative performance was assessed in a version of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT; E. P. Torrance, 1974). In a control condition, participants wrote about what they would do if school was cancelled for the day. In an experimental condition, the instructions were identical except that participants were to imagine themselves as 7-year-olds in this situation. Individuals imagining themselves as children subsequently produced more original responses on the TTCT. Further results showed that the manipulation was particularly effective among more introverted individuals, who are typically less spontaneous and more inhibited in their daily lives. The results thus establish that there is a benefit in thinking like a child to subsequent creative originality, particularly among introverted individuals. The discussion links the findings to mindset factors, play and spontaneity, and relevant personality processes.