PSYC 2020 Lecture Notes - Factor Analysis, Implicit-Association Test

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Published on 22 Aug 2012
York University
PSYC 2020
of 2
-1Lecture #25
Stress & Health (Part II)
ŸMuch of the research on consciousness over the last 100 years has focused on contents of
consciousness, entirely on thoughts we have, the feelings we have, the goals and motives, all of which
represent contents of our consciousness
ŸVery little research on consciousness itself, new studies on qualities of conscious experience,
psychological, biological related
ŸMindfulness is the quality of our consciousness, state of being and attentiveness of what is happening
in the presence
ŸTwo psychological processes refer to our awareness and attention
ŸAwareness is the process by which we monitor our environment, interior and exterior environment all
of which enter into our consciousness
ŸWe are not always spaying attention to what we are aware of, attention is what we are focusing on, the
limited content that we pick up, particular aspects of what we are aware of
ŸMindfulness involves a variety of experiences, quality of experience is distinct, being focused in the
present moment, not distracted by thoughts or concerns about future, or regrets or remorse on past,
they are focused now, in clarity, viewing experiences in a polished mirror, not focused on classifying,
categorizing on experiences and environments judging and evaluating, determining what things mean,
in state of clarity you do not do these things, simply allowing it to be (open and receptive stance
toward the present moment)
ŸPerson who is meditating still ahs thoughts and worries and feelings, but they are not overwhelmed,
stepping out of the stream of thoughts and feelings, watching it go by (quality of dis-attachment)
ŸAssumption that this is not the particular experience reserved for one group of people, mindfulness is
an experience which all of us practise, tends to come and go, fluctuates
ŸSome of us either through good fortune or disciplined practise experience more states of mindfulness
than others
ŸKirk Brown and colleagues have two general hypotheses, mindfulness will contribute to well being
directly and indirectly, it is good, Kirk is assuming that to some extent it is directly beneficial, in a very
basic study people are sampling chocolate, one group can do whatever they want while eating enjoy it
more, the people who are distracted don’t enjoy the chocolate as much
ŸIt can contribute in an indirect way, practising it may help interrupt all the little habits in life, some of
which are not good to act in, help us from disengaging in habitual activities, help us exercising and
making better choices (e.g. during exam times, eating habits are bad, but mindfulness will help you
appreciate the choices you make which help you make more better decisions)
ŸKirk Brown and Richard Ryan have seen these two pathways of direct and indirect routes of wellbeing
ŸThey had in their lien of research that mindfulness would predict three things, wellbeing, people who
are more mindful have higher rates of self esteem lower rates of anxiety and depression, two more
mindful people show higher levels of awareness, more concordant, and third, mindfulness will
contribute to healthy self regulation, exercising a kind of choice in your day to day life, things are not
chosen for them, personal autonomy
ŸBrown and Ryan developed a questionnaire, 15 items scale, in the direction of mindlessness (states of
mindlessness are much more common, so it is easier for participants to related)
ŸCollected and identified by factor analysis, screened by zen practitioners, and experts of meditation to
show their opinions
ŸPredicted by mindfulness from the question, correlates and consequences of being mindful or
ŸFirst sets of questions about personality, are there certain traits, high for openness to experiences,
feelings, actions and values and on most of the subscales of openness
ŸPeople who score high are also high on need for cognition, preference for solving complex problems,
or engaging in intellectual activities, and mindful people like to do these things
ŸMindfulness has no correlation with self monitoring, tendency to try and adjust your behaviour to
social circumstances
ŸMindfulness has negative relation to trait o absorption, readiness to enter alter stages of consciousness,
hypnotized, mindful people less likely to show this
ŸMindfulness related to maladjustment, people who are more mindful are less screwed up, mindful
people are more emotionally stable, lower levels of self consciousness, depression, vulnerability, more
emotionally stable, higher self-esteem
ŸBrown and Ryan predicted and found that people who scored higher on mindfulness have better
mental health, well being
ŸThe rest of the findings they were interested in showing, was that mindfulness will show a greater
awareness of what’s going on inside you and a greater degree of agreement, and they tested this idea
by taking advantage of distinction of implicit processes and explicit processes
ŸImplicit processes are by nature, indirect, unconscious, automatic, intuitive
ŸExplicit processes we have direct and conscious control over, deliberation, conscious decision making
ŸWhen you complete a questionnaire about anything, you are tapping into your explicit processes
ŸResearchers have long suspected that in implicit level there may be processes that are in conflict with
your conscious self (there may be underlying attitudes that disagree with your self reports, that may
affect our behaviour)
ŸDevelopment of procedures that measures our implicit attitudes and beliefs, developed a measurement
device, implicit association test, measure your reaction times to pairs of words that are well linked in
your mind are more easily processed and reacted to than other word (e.g. if you have high self-esteem,
than pairs of words like ‘me, good’, easier to process than ‘tree, good’, test of reaction time)
ŸUsed this test to measure all kinds of things, attitudes towards racial groups, etc.
ŸIt predicts behaviour in ways that are different than self reported prejudices
ŸImplicit measures and explicit measures almost never correlate, and that is a problem
ŸBrown and Ryan hypothesized that this barrier is an opportunity, that maybe they do agree for some
people, and those some people are mindful, their unconscious is more accessible so there is higher
level of agreement, so what you self report agree more to your implicit processes
ŸThey had a group of participants that completed mindfulness test, and did a self report of their
happiness, and then did an implicit association test of happiness (underlying happiness levels)
ŸThey found that there is a higher level of agreement of their implicit and explicit happiness levels
depends on how mindful you are: if you are low on mindfulness, you are distracted and not focused,
there is virtually no relationship; but if you are mindful, the relationship is high
ŸThe last hypothesis is that relationship between mindfulness and healthy self regulation, mindful
person more aware of choices he or she is making, greater sense of personal autonomy, they feel they
are making most of their choices
ŸCommunity sample of adults, and sample of convenience, day to day measures of happiness and
feelings of autonomy for long periods of time (3 weeks), trait mindfulness predicts higher level of
autonomy and lower levels of distress over extended time period, mindfulness cultivates wellbeing and
autonomous self regulation
ŸIdea of consciousness, William James, first psychologist, brought this up