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Record identifier : 567766
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Ortner, Catherine Nicole Marie
Title and statement of responsibility : Consequences of mindfulness meditation for emotional flexibility and psychological well-being [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Toronto (Canada, 2006
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , University of Toronto (Canada
Summary or Abstract : Mindfulness has been defined as a quality of "enhanced attention to and awareness of current experience or present reality" (p. 822, Brown & Ryan, 2003). Studies of mindfulness-based interventions have shown beneficial effects on well-being---both physical and psychological. However, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying these effects---using an experimental approach with conditions that control for nonspecific effects of mindfulness training (e.g., expectancy, relaxation). This thesis examined the possibility that mindfulness meditation may have important consequences for the ability to 'let go' of emotions (i.e., for emotional flexibility), which in turn affects cognitive resources available for decision making, and ultimately psychological well-being. In Study 1, meditation practitioners from the community completed a battery of behavioural measures assessing emotional flexibility. A dot probe task assessed initial orienting of attention to emotional stimuli. In an emotional interference task (EIT) participants viewed pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures while responding to the presentation of a tone. A longer history of meditation practice was significantly associated with better disengagement of attention from unpleasant stimuli and with higher scores on questionnaire measures of mindfulness and psychological well-being. There was no relation between initial orienting of attention and duration of meditation experience. In Study 2, using an experimental design, I compared the effects of 7 weeks of mindfulness meditation training to the effects of relaxation training and to performance in a waiting-list control group. Participants in the training conditions were tested before and after the 7-week course using a variety of measures including the EIT, ratings of intensity for pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures, and questionnaire measures of mindfulness and well-being. Only participants who received mindfulness meditation training showed improvements in the ability to disengage their attention from unpleasant stimuli, reduced ratings of feelings of intensity in response to unpleasant stimuli, and signs of reduced physiological arousal. Furthermore, the mindfulness meditation group showed increased scores on self-report measures of mindfulness, psychological well-being, and self-compassion. Together, these findings suggest mindfulness meditation may produce an increase in emotional flexibility, which may in turn account for improvements in well-being..
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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