Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Sixty-three undergraduate students participated in a study of the role of motivation on emotion regulation processes. Participants completed trait- and state-level self-reports, as well as a computer task of selective attention, at several time points during a stressful encounter. A typological approach to analysis was used, in which individuals were assigned to a Mindful, Avoidant, or Vigilant motivation to observe and z-scores of the three groups were compared across the variables. The Mindful profile was marked by an ability to shift attention from emotionally arousing stimuli. The Avoidant profile showed less “what” and less “how” mindfulness skills, less metacognitive confidence, greater attempts at avoidance, greater thought intrusions, and greater reported anxiety during the stressful encounter. The Vigilant group was characterized by greater metacognitive confidence, greater reported acting with awareness, and greater willingness; they also endorsed more beliefs that thoughts and worry are important cues and can be useful for problem-solving. Surprisingly, it was the Vigilant group that showed signs greater anxiety and intrusions during the recovery phase and despite what they say motivates them (i.e., vigilance), the Vigilant group was relatively poor in comparison with other groups on the dot probe task. Implications for a faceted view of mindfulness are discussed, as are the relative strengths and limitations of non-mindful approaches to experience.
Scott, Joanna. "Why be mindful?: A profile approach to understanding the role of motivation in emotion regulation." Ph.D. dissertation, Bryn Mawr College, 2013.