Aspects of self-awareness in meditators and meditation-naïve participants: Self-report versus task performance

I. Nyklicek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives
Meditation may be viewed as a way to enhance mindfulness and self-awareness. To date, most studies have relied on instruments based on self-evaluations. The aim of this study was to explore aspects of self-awareness in experienced meditators compared to non-meditators using a multi-method approach.

Methods
Thirty-five experienced meditators and 47 matched control participants completed tests ranging from self-report questionnaires of mindfulness skills and psychological mindedness to emotion reports in a scenario task and a behavioral task in which spontaneous momentary experiences are verbally reported.

Results
Compared to controls, meditators scored higher on self-reported introspective interest and mindfulness skills, but not on emotional awareness. Meditators also showed higher interoception scores during the spontaneous verbal reports task. Interestingly, while mindfulness/Vipassana meditators scored lower on a self-reported mindfulness skill compared to transcendental meditators, they reported more momentary interoceptive and exteroceptive phenomena during the task, the differences being large.

Conclusions
Different methods assessing complementary aspects of self-awareness show partially mutually opposing results when meditator and non-meditator groups are compared. These results indicate the added value of behavioral tasks when assessing awareness-related phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1037
Number of pages10
JournalMindfulness
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ATTENTION
  • Awareness
  • BUDDHIST
  • CONSCIOUSNESS
  • Consciousness
  • EMOTIONS
  • INTERVENTION
  • INVENTORY
  • Introspection
  • MINDFULNESS QUESTIONNAIRE
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • NETWORKS
  • PSYCHOLOGY
  • STATES

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