Mindfulness, Nonattachment, and the Feeling-Action Relationship
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The present research had two objectives. It sought to examine whether traits related to mindful awareness and nonattachment could be distinguished. It also sought to compare both sets of traits with respect to their ability to dissociate relations between feelings and actions.
To examine processes of this type in a fine-grained manner, two studies (total N = 296; 69.93% female; 87.16% Caucasian; M age = 19.13) developed procedures capable of differentiating affective reactions and their intensity from the behaviors that could result from such feelings. In these situation judgment paradigms, participants were first asked to imagine themselves in a series of evocative situations (e.g., a romantic partner cheating on them). For each situation, individuals then rated how intensely they would experience the targeted feeling (e.g., anger) and how likely they would be to engage in a corresponding action (e.g., an aggressive one).
Multilevel analyses of these responses revealed that both mindfulness (Study 1 p = .005; Study 2 p = .045) and nonattachment (Study 1 p < .001; Study 2 p < .001) moderated the feeling-action relationship such that it was less coupled among participants possessing the relevant traits, but this modulatory influence was more robust for nonattachment.
The methods, which build on emotional simulations and multilevel modeling, provide a paradigm for studying reactions to situations as well as feeling-action relationships. Additionally, the results provide insights into both mindfulness and nonattachment and the manner in which they are likely to function within emotional contexts.
KeywordsMindfulness Nonattachment Feeling Action Situation Multilevel modeling
RJK and MDR designed the study together. RJK performed the data analysis and wrote the paper. MDR revised the paper. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee prior to its implementation. Informed consent was obtained prior to the administration of the questionnaires.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of North Dakota State University.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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