تفاوت های فردی در صحت و ذهن آگاهی بعنوان پیش بینی کننده تدافعی کلامی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32137||2008||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||3866 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 42, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 230–238
We examined the extent to which individual differences in authenticity and mindfulness predicted verbal defensiveness. Participants first completed measures of authenticity [Kernis, M. H., & Goldman, B. M. (2006). A multicomponent conceptualization of authenticity: Theory and research. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 38 (pp. 283–357).] and mindfulness [Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822–848]. Within the next few weeks, participants completed the Defensive Verbal Behavior Assessment [Feldman Barrett, L., Williams, N. L., & Fong, G. T. (2002). Defensive verbal behavior assessment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 776–788]. Their responses to potentially self-threatening experiences subsequently were rated for the extent to which they reflected openness and honesty as opposed to defensiveness. Our findings indicated that authenticity and mindfulness correlated positively and that higher scores on each related to lower levels of verbal defensiveness. Additional analyses revealed that the relation between authenticity and verbal defensiveness was indirect, mediated by mindfulness. These findings support the view that higher authenticity and mindfulness relate to greater tendencies to engage self-relevant information in a relatively non-defensive manner.
Why is it that some individuals readily accept personal responsibility for their behaviors while others are especially defensive? For example, some people willingly acknowledge the contribution of inadequate preparation to their poor academic performance, whereas others instead belittle the quality of the exam, class, and instructor. Defense mechanisms, as illustrated in the latter instance, represent motivated strategies that individuals utilize in the service of “decreasing their awareness of [a] threatening stimulus and distancing themselves from their emotional reactions to it” (Feldman Barrett, Williams, & Fong, 2002, p. 777). Importantly, individual differences exist in the extent to which individuals employ various defense mechanisms. For example, feeling autonomous and not pressured or controlled with respect to one’s own behaviors mitigates the extent to which individuals make self-serving attributions or engage in self-handicapping (Knee and Zuckerman, 1996 and Knee and Zuckerman, 1998). Likewise, when compared to those with unstable high self-esteem, individuals with stable high self-esteem do not become especially defensive in response to potential threats (Kernis, Cornell, Sun, Berry, & Harlow, 1993). In the current research, we sought to examine other variables that might relate to individual differences in the magnitude of defensive behaviors, specifically assessing the extent to which authenticity ( Goldman and Kernis, 2002, Kernis, 2003 and Kernis and Goldman, 2006) and mindfulness ( Brown and Ryan, 2003 and Brown et al., in press) predicted verbal defensiveness ( Feldman Barrett et al., 2002). Authenticity can be defined as “the unobstructed operation of one’s true, or core, self in one’s daily enterprise” (Kernis, 2003, p. 13). More precisely, Goldman and Kernis, 2002, Kernis, 2003, Kernis and Goldman, 2005 and Kernis and Goldman, 2006 (2002; Kernis, 2003; Kernis & Goldman, 2005, 2006) suggest that authenticity comprises four distinct, but interrelated, components: awareness, unbiased processing, behavior, and relational orientation. Awareness represents the extent to which individuals possess self-knowledge concerning, and trust in, their own self-relevant aspects, including their likes and dislikes, motives, and personal standards. Unbiased processing refers to the extent to which individuals objectively process internal and external self-relevant information. Individuals who are high in unbiased processing do not distort, deny, or ignore information pertaining to their strengths and weaknesses. Behavior entails the extent to which individuals engage in behaviors freely and naturally because they align with their core values, beliefs, and self-aspects (cf., Deci and Ryan, 2000 and Sheldon et al., 1997). Finally, relational orientation refers to the extent to which individuals desire that close others know who they really are, rather than a distorted or limited version. Goldman and Kernis (2004) developed the Authenticity Inventory (AI, Version 3) to assess these interrelated components of authentic functioning. Considerable research supports the validity of this measure, as high authenticity relates to various aspects of healthy psychological and interpersonal functioning (for a review, see Kernis & Goldman, 2006). Goldman and Kernis, 2002, Kernis, 2003 and Kernis and Goldman, 2006 depiction of authenticity suggests that individuals who possess a coherent and nuanced integration of self-knowledge and self-related processes (i.e., are highly authentic) should function in a relatively autonomous fashion and with relatively low levels of ego-involvement (Hodgins & Knee, 2002). These qualities suggest that authenticity should relate to mindfulness, which is an experiential process variable that involves the extent to which one pays attention to the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) and is highly aware of immediate internal and external stimuli in a non-judgmental and unbiased manner (Brown & Ryan, 2003). In other words, mindfulness entails the ability to notice and attend to immediate stimuli, including one’s overt actions, without embellishing them with evaluative labels, or becoming entangled in unwanted thoughts or emotional reactions to them. In short, mindfulness engenders a high degree of awareness without a high degree of ego-involvement. Recent empirical work has demonstrated that mindfulness relates to a host of positive psychological outcomes, and that mindfulness facilitates highly adaptive regulatory and attentional capabilities that culminate in proactive responses to situational demands (Brown and Ryan, 2003 and Brown et al., in press). As this brief review suggests, the more authentic and mindful individuals are, the less defensive they should tend to be when confronted with negative self-relevant information. More specifically, we believe that the more authentic and mindful individuals are, the more they will verbally recount potentially self-threatening past experiences in ways that convey awareness and acceptance of the event and their emotional reactions to it. Although the constructs of authenticity and mindfulness share common definitional terminology (i.e., awareness, unbiased processing), they differ in significant ways. At its core, mindfulness refers to awareness and attention to one’s immediate experience. Within the authenticity construct, in contrast, awareness refers to awareness of one’s self-aspects, feelings, motives, and desires in general. Unbiased processing within mindfulness refers to experiencing each moment as it is, not filtered through one’s cognitive apparatus. Within authenticity, unbiased processing refers to objectively processing evaluative information and not exaggerating or minimizing its implications. In each instance, whereas mindfulness pertains to one’s immediate experience, authenticity refers to aspects of one’s self-knowledge and its implications for dealing with evaluative information, one’s behavior, and one’s close relationships. In short, mindfulness represents in situ awareness and non-evaluative processing of self-relevant information to a greater extent than does authenticity. Consequently, we anticipated that the relation between authenticity and verbal defensiveness will largely be indirect and accounted for by their relations with mindfulness. To test these hypotheses, we employed Feldman Barrett et al.’s (2002) Defensive Verbal Behavior Assessment (DVBA), in which individuals verbally recount to an interviewer past experiences that are generally construed as mildly to moderately distressing. At one extreme, individuals may convey potentially self-threatening information in a highly personalized and non-defensive manner that suggests an open and honest admission of unpleasant thoughts and feelings. At the other extreme, individuals may be highly defensive when answering these questions, as they actively attempt to distance themselves from the admission of any potentially negative self-relevant information in the service of self-protection. Thus, when verbally defensive, individuals may be vague and evasive, deny or externalize personal responsibility for their past behaviors or experiences, talk in absolutes, minimize an event’s impact, self-censor, or seek external validation from those to whom they are talking. As detailed by Feldman Barrett et al. (2002), the DVBA is well grounded in research and theory that have focused on defensiveness and defense mechanisms. While individuals may use different specific defense mechanisms to cope with threatening information, the DVBA does not assess a specific defense mechanism per se; rather, the DVBA captures the shared consequences of these mechanisms by assessing “traces left by defensive processes in the content and structure of speech” ( Feldman Barrett et al., 2002, p. 777). Thus, the DVBA, and the self-deceptive (i.e., defensive) speech it captures, provides an opportunity to assess behaviorally the manner in which authentic and mindful individuals comport themselves when confronted with potentially self-threatening information. 2. Methods 2.1. Participants Undergraduate student participants (N = 101; 88% female; 85% Caucasian; M age = 19.1, SD = 1.16) completed this study in partial fulfillment of their course research requirement. 2.2. Procedure This study consisted of two phases. First, participants completed measures designed to assess authenticity and mindfulness in group settings of up to 15 people as part of a larger investigation. Participants returned individually during the next 5–6 weeks to take part in the recorded DVBA interview, after which we debriefed and thanked them.1