روابط بین ذهن آگاهی، حالت جریان و تصویب مهارت های ذهنی: یک رویکرد تحلیلی خوشه ای
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32153||2008||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8060 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume 9, Issue 4, July 2008, Pages 393–411
Objectives This study examines the relationships between mindfulness, flow dispositions and mental skills adoption. Design Cluster analytic approach. Methods Participants in this study were 182 university student athletes. They were administered the Mindfulness/Mindlessness Scale [MMS; Bodner, T., & Langer, E. (2001). Individual differences in mindfulness: The Langer Mindfulness Scale. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Toronto, Ont., Canada], Dispositional Flow Scale 2 [DFS-2; Jackson, S. A., & Eklund, R. C. (2004). The flow scale manual. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology] and Test of Performance Strategies [TOPS; Thomas, P. R., Murphy, S. M., & Hardy, L. (1999). Test of performance strategies: Development and preliminary validation of a comprehensive measure of athletes’ psychological skills. Journal of Sports Sciences, 17, 697–711]. Results Four distinctive mindfulness clusters were found based on their response on the MMS using cluster analysis. Marked differences in flow dispositions and mental skills adoption habits were observed between the high and the low mindfulness clusters. Those in the high mindfulness cluster scored significantly higher than the low mindfulness clusters in challenge–skill balance, merging of action and awareness, clear goals, concentration and loss of self-consciousness scores of the DFS-2 [Jackson, S.A., & Eklund, R.C. (2004). The flow scale manual. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology]. The high mindfulness clusters also scored significantly higher compared to the low mindfulness cluster in terms of attentional control, emotional control, goal setting and self-talk sub-scales of the TOPS. Conclusions This study suggests that athletes’ flow dispositions and mental skills adoption could be differentiated using mindfulness. The findings have implications towards the understanding of flow and mental skills adoption within sport psychology.
Instructions such as “live in the here and now” and “focus on the present moment” have been linked to the psychology of peak performance in sport (e.g., Jackson & Delehanty, 1995; Jackson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1999; Orlick, 1990; Ravizza, 2002). Present moment focus strategy seems to increase the likelihood of successful performance as such strategy ensures that unnecessary distractions linked to past events or future events are momentarily suspended. Such a strategy enhances concentration on the task at hand and would in turn leads to better athletic performance. Several authors have recommended present moment focus as an effective performance enhancement strategy for athletes as it is intricately linked with concentration (e.g., Jackson & Delehanty, 1995; Jackson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1999; Orlick, 1990; Ravizza, 2002). Despite the potential link between present moment focus and peak performance, little is done to examine athletes’ present moment focus in relation to their performance in sports. To begin with, it is difficult to directly assess psychological state of present moment focus while the athletes are in action or in competition. Asking athletes in action whether they are focusing on the present moment will inevitably disrupt their attention toward the task at hand. An alternative for studying present moment focus is to examine the issue at the dispositional level. By examining the tendency to maintain present moment focus, research questions pertaining to the use of such strategy can be undertaken. Indeed, with the advent of mindfulness research in mainstream psychology (e.g., Baer, 2003), research of present moment focus in sport is now more viable. Mindfulness, defined as the non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the experience that occurs in the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Linehan, 1993), could help address issues related to tendencies of present moment focus in sport psychology. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, mindfulness tendencies of athletes have not been extensively examined elsewhere. It is not known how athletes involved in competitive sports might differ in terms of mindfulness tendencies. The cluster analytic approach is adopted in this study to uncover clusters of athletes with different mindfulness characteristics before examining whether the construct is related to peak performance psychology. In summary, the purpose of the study is to use a cluster analytic approach to examine whether athletes’ tendencies to be mindful of the present moment, flow dispositions and their habits of mental skills adoption are linked. In order to operationalize the concept of present moment focus for the current study, the two-component model of mindfulness proposed by Bishop et al. (2004) is presented here. The first component involves self-regulation of attention towards the immediate present moment, while the second component pertains to the adoption of an orientation that is marked by curiosity, openness and acceptance (Bishop et al., 2004). The former describes mindfulness as a form of mental skill or state, while the latter accounts for personality characteristics that underlie mindfulness tendencies. Both are intricately linked. Studies suggests that individual's mindfulness state correspond to neurophysiology of the person's human brain (e.g., Dunn, Hartigan, & Mikulas, 1999; Ryback, 2006; Takahashi et al., 2005), thus hinting at the trainability of mindfulness through repetition of present moment focus. At the same time, there are differences in the degrees of mindfulness that can be accounted by personality differences (Bodner & Langer, 2001; Takahashi et al., 2005). The two-component model proposed by Bishop et al. (2004) is relevant for the present research as it covers both the states and dispositions of mindfulness. Both components are important for understanding mindfulness, as its trainability and personality characteristics are relevant for examining issues in peak performance psychology. The first component of mindfulness proposed by Bishop et al. (2004) emphasizes the self-regulation of attention towards the present moment. Understandably, self-regulation is an important aspect of mental skill that facilitates peak performance and flow (e.g., Gardner & Moore, 2006). Several mental skills repertoires are commonly taught to athletes for enhancing self-regulation capabilities and performance. For example, self-talk strategy shuts out unnecessary cognitive processes to allow one to concentrate better (Hatzigeorgiadis, Theodorakis, & Zourbanos, 2004). Centering, a breathing technique used for producing physical balance and mental focus (Nideffer, 1992, p. 127), is another self-regulatory technique used for the maintenance of optimal arousal in sport (Rogerson & Hrycaiko, 2002). Similarly, goal setting can be considered as a self-regulatory technique as it helps athletes channel their energy more efficiently (Oettingen, Pak, & Schnetter, 2001). While the application of mental skills such as self-talk, imagery and goal setting are usually done with purposes in mind (such as to self-regulate one's energy), mindful attention toward the present moment are purposeless acts associated with the temporary suspension of one's ego (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Ryan & Brown, 2003) and interpretation of experiences (Shapiro, Carlson, Astin, & Freedman, 2006). When an individual is mindful, he or she notices the unfolding moment non-judgmentally by refraining from assigning personal values to the process. This way the individual lets go of personal ego (Game, 2001), and other self-conscious thoughts. Thus, self-regulation of attention toward the present moment has also been associated with cognitive inhibition (Bishop et al., 2004). This distinction between sport-related mental skills executed with purposes in mind, and the purposeless and largely cognition-free mindfulness state, should be appreciated. The second component of mindfulness pertains to attitudes and orientations predictive of the self-regulatory aspect of mindfulness (Bishop et al., 2004). Individuals differ in their tendencies in maintaining mindfulness, and it appears that openness to experience accounts for individual differences in mindfulness (Bodner & Langer, 2001). Bodner and Langer (2001) offer four mindfulness characteristics for predicting mindfulness tendencies. Since Bodner and Langer's (2001) conceptualization of mindfulness characteristics is adopted in the current research for the purpose of clustering athletes, these four specific aspects of mindfulness characteristics are further elaborated. These four mindfulness characteristics are novelty seeking, novelty producing, flexibility and engagement. Novelty seeking pertains to the orientation to “approach each environment as an opportunity to learn something new and look specifically and actively for such opportunities” (Bodner, 2000, p. 15). Novelty producing refers to the process of generating new and useful information upon the processing of information from the environment (Bodner, 2000). Flexibility is assessed through one's tendency to see situations from multiple perspectives, and is characterized by the ability to change perspectives easily (Bodner, 2000). Lastly, engagement is related to one's tendency to notice details of his or her environment. When one is engaged with something, there is intense attention towards its fine details (Bodner, 2000), thus the close similarity between engagement and concentration. These four characteristics proposed by Bodner and Langer (2001) concur with Bishop et al.'s (2004) conceptualization of curiosity, openness and acceptance within the mindfulness framework. Research that investigates the link between mindfulness and mental skills adoption in sport is limited. In an earlier attempt to study mindfulness among athletes, Gardner and Moore (2004) presented two case studies highlighting the potential efficacy of their mindfulness-based intervention program in which they termed the Mindfulness–Acceptance–Commitment approach. They report that training in the form of scheduled self-regulation of present moment awareness, which includes mindful awareness of breath and bodily movements, enhanced their participants’ athletic performance and enjoyment (Gardner & Moore, 2004). Specifically, Gardner and Moore (2004) cite acceptance of negative thoughts, reduced worrying, increased enjoyment, concentration and persistence as some of the positive outcomes of their mindfulness-based intervention program. The observations from their studies hinted that mindfulness can be trained and some positive attitudinal changes can be derived as a result of mindfulness-based interventions. It is, however, not known if one's tendency in adopting mental skills is also in turn associated with mindfulness. If so, mindfulness might help explain why some athletes are more likely to adopt mental skill compared to the others (e.g., Harwood, Cumming, & Fletcher, 2004). Further studies are warranted. There is also a lack of research addressing the relationship between flow and mindfulness. In a study based on a non-athlete sample, Clark (2002) examined the impact of self-regulated attention control (or mindfulness) on the time spent in flow. Specifically, his study examined the impact of a mindfulness training protocol (based on a self-regulated attention regulation intervention program) on daily flow experiences in a sample of graduate students. Mindfulness meditation and attention control strategies, based on the works of Kabat-Zinn and Nideffer respectively, were taught to the participants as part of the research protocol (Clark, 2002). Experience sampling method (ESM) was used for assessing the participants’ flow experience during their daily life before and after the training protocol. Three out of the six participants experienced treatment effects, suggesting that mindfulness training may help some individuals in increasing the time spent in flow during the course of their day. Some individuals appeared to have benefited from the prescribed mindfulness training more notably than the others. As this study was conducted on a non-athlete sample, whether athletes’ propensity to be mindful is related to the tendency to experience flow in sport is not known. Given the lack of empirical support on the relation between mindfulness and performance psychology in sport, there is a need to examine this issue in greater detail. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between mindfulness, flow and mental skills adoption. While we borrowed the conceptualizations of mindfulness provided by Bishop et al. (2004) as the overarching theoretical framework, individual differences in terms of mindfulness propensities are assessed based on Bodner and Langer's (2001) work on mindfulness. Participants who display higher novelty seeking, novelty producing, flexibility and engagement characteristics are deemed to be more mindful than those who are significantly weaker in these characteristics. Whether those who are deemed more mindful also have stronger flow dispositions and mental skills adoption habits is of key interest in this study. Differences in terms of specific flow dispositions and mental skills that are observed between clusters are also discussed. To reiterate the aims of this study, these two specific research questions are posed: (1) Would individuals who display stronger mindfulness characteristics as outlined by Bodner and Langer (2001) score higher in the flow disposition measures? (2) Would individuals who display stronger mindfulness characteristics as outlined by Bodner and Langer (2001) score higher in the mental skills adoption measures?