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Title: Mindfulness, its measurement and effect on a paradigm of persistence with behavioural change
Author: Sysalová, Hana
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1313
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This doctoral thesis presents three Studies covering the topics of mindfulness, its measurement, and its effect on a paradigm of persistence with behavioural change. The paradigm is introduced in Study 1 as a novel way of assessing persistence with behavioural change. Persistence is assumed to be necessary if one wishes to shift from a habitual to a novel behaviour as the latter option provides little rewards compared to its alternative in the initial phase of behavioural change. The results showed, similarly to real life, that people varied in their choices: some stayed with the habitual behaviour, others switched to the novel option but not all stayed with it, and subsequently returned back to the original behaviour. Study 1 presents a number of applications of the paradigm as well as suggestions for assessing construct validity. One possible way of applying the paradigm is to test how it is influenced by mindfulness. Mindfulness is focusing attention on the present moment with attitudes like acceptance and openness. Hence the more mindful people are the easier they may find to persist with behavioural change as their attention is more focused and they are more accepting when dealing with the frustrating nature of the change. This relationship is investigated in Study 2 where mindfulness is briefly induced with a short meditation and also assessed as a trait. The study revealed an unexpected pattern between trait mindfulness ratings and paradigm variables when each condition was considered separately. Further investigation supported the argument that the pattern could be due to the influence of immediate context, namely induction content and performance on the paradigm. Implications for the findings, such as the stability of trait questionnaires, are discussed. Moreover, mindfulness was found to enhance persistence with behavioural change but only in one of the experiments. It is possible the brief mindfulness induction is not strong enough. Brief mindfulness induction is the focus of Study 3, including a literature review of over 70 studies applying this method. The analysis showed a high variation in various methodological aspects, such as the content, length and type of inductions. The fit of induction content with existing definitions of mindfulness is discussed further as well as the suitable length of inductions. Recommendations for improvement of the methodology are suggested. The whole thesis provides a number of theoretical and methodological contributions, directions for future research and practical applications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology