Mindfullness and meditation experience in relation to attention performance and psychological well-being among meditators and non-meditators

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: The main purpose of this research project was to study mindfulness and its relation to attention and psychological well-being. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the construct of mindfulness and the mental health benefits associated with mindfulness based programmes, the relation between mindfulness and its proposed core component, self-regulation of attention, was studied. In addition, the hypothesis that meditation practice improves the ability to be mindful in daily life which in turn promotes psychological well-being was also tested. Buddhist and Western mindfulness meditators were compared with non-meditators on tasks of sustained (SART) and executive attention (The Stroop Task). The relation between self-reported mindfulness (FFMQ) with regard to sustained and executive attention was analyzed as well as the relation between meditation experience, five mindfulness facets and psychological well-being. The results showed no significant differences between meditators and non-meditators either in sustained or executive attention. Mixed results were found regarding the relation between self-reported mindfulness and attention. Experienced meditators scored higher than non-meditators on all mindfulness facets except Describe, but when age and gender were controlled for there were significant differences only on two facets. The multiple mediation analysis showed that the five mindfulness facets completely mediated the relation between meditation experience and psychological well-being but no single facet contributed significantly. Simple mediation analyses indicated, however, that Non-React was the primary mediator. Significant directs effects of meditation experience were only found on Non-React and Observe, with a similar trend for Non-Judge, suggesting that these facets are the ones most strongly associated with mindfulness meditation practise. Meditators may have an increased awareness of internal processes and the ability to quickly attend to them but this type of refined attentional ability does not seem to be related to performance on attention tests requiring responses to external targets. The result from the multiple mediation analysis supports the notion that meditation experience is related to increased mindfulness, which in turn is associated with improved psychological well-being.

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