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It has long been theorised that there are two temporally distinct forms of self-reference: extended self-reference linking experiences across time, and momentary self-reference centred on the present. To characterise these two aspects of awareness, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine monitoring of enduring traits (’narrative’ focus, NF) or momentary experience (’experiential’ focus, EF) in both novice participants and those having attended an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation, a program that trains individuals to develop focused attention on the present. In novices, EF yielded focal reductions in self-referential cortical midline regions (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC) associated with NF. In trained participants, EF resulted in more marked and pervasive reductions in the mPFC, and increased engagement of a right lateralised network, comprising the lateral PFC and viscerosomatic areas such as the insula, secondary somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Functional connectivity analyses further demonstrated a strong coupling between the right insula and the mPFC in novices that was uncoupled in the mindfulness group. These results suggest a fundamental neural dissociation between two distinct forms of self-awareness that are habitually integrated but can be dissociated through attentional training: the self across time and in the present moment.
To assess the impact of a yoga curriculum in an elementary school on student quality of life, and to assess teacher and staff perception of potential barriers to, and benefits of, introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom. A randomized controlled trial was utilized to assess the impact of a brief intervention on third-grade students who screened positive for symptoms of anxiety. Students were randomized to an intervention group of 20 students receiving small-group yoga/mindfulness activities for 8 weeks between October 2016 and February 2017, and a control group of 32 students receiving care as usual. The Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) served as outcomes. Teachers were invited to participate in two professional development sessions about introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom, and completed a survey following each of the sessions. In generalized estimating equation models adjusted for time, the yoga-based intervention was associated with a 14.17 unit increase in student emotional PedsQL (p-value 0.001) and a 7.43 unit increase in psychosocial PedsQL (p-value 0.01). Results were not attenuated by adjustment. Teachers and staff reported using yoga more frequently in the classroom following the second of two professional development sessions (p-value <0.05). Perceived barriers to introducing yoga to the classroom were similar at two data collection time points, while perceived benefits remained high. The intervention was associated with a significant improvement in emotional and psychosocial quality of life in the intervention group when compared to the control group, suggesting that yoga/mindfulness interventions may improve symptoms of anxiety among students. Yoga/mindfulness activities may facilitate stress management among elementary school students and may be added as a complement to social and emotional learning activities.
<p>Teacher stress has been the focus of educational concern and research for decades, and has resulted in the development of several teacher stress scales and various strategies to address the negative effects of stress and burnout. Few empirical studies have evaluated specific programs designed to reduce teacher stress. However, promising results have come from the practice of standardized meditation (SM). The current study employed a pretest-posttest control group design and used the Teacher’s Stress Inventory (TSI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) to assess the effect of a 5-week standardized meditation class on the perceived occupational stress of 91 full-time teachers from seven suburban school districts in three states. Results were consistent with previous studies and offered support for the hypothesis that SM significantly reduces teachers’ perceived stress. Teachers perceived a reduction in stress using SM only 2–5 times per week. The use of standardized meditation by school psychologists to assist in reducing teacher stress is discussed.</p>
The authors propose that people in relationships become emotionally similar over time--as this similarity would help coordinate the thoughts and behaviors of the relationship partners, increase their mutual understanding, and foster their social cohesion. Using laboratory procedures to induce and assess emotional response, the authors found that dating partners (Study 1) and college roommates (Studies 2 and 3) became more similar in their emotional responses over the course of a year. Further, relationship partners with less power made more of the change necessary for convergence to occur. Consistent with the proposed benefits of emotional similarity, relationships whose partners were more emotionally similar were more cohesive and less likely to dissolve. Discussion focuses on implications of emotional convergence and on potential mechanisms.
Dozens of studies in different nations have revealed that socioeconomic status only weakly predicts an individual's subjective well-being (SWB). These results imply that although the pursuit of social status is a fundamental human motivation, achieving high status has little impact on one's SWB. However, we propose that sociometric status-the respect and admiration one has in face-to-face groups (e.g., among friends or coworkers)-has a stronger effect on SWB than does socioeconomic status. Using correlational, experimental, and longitudinal methodologies, four studies found consistent evidence for a local-ladder effect: Sociometric status significantly predicted satisfaction with life and the experience of positive and negative emotions. Longitudinally, as sociometric status rose or fell, SWB rose or fell accordingly. Furthermore, these effects were driven by feelings of power and social acceptance. Overall, individuals' sociometric status matters more to their SWB than does their socioeconomic status.
Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental attention to present-moment experience. In its therapeutic forms, mindfulness interventions promote increased tolerance of negative affect and improved well being. However, the neural mechanisms underlying mindful mood regulation are poorly understood. Mindfulness training appears to enhance attentional monitoring systems in the brain, supported by the anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortices. In emotion regulation, this prefrontal training seems to promote the stable recruitment of a non-conceptual sensory pathway, an alternative to conventional cognitive reappraisal strategies. In neural terms, the transition to non-conceptual awareness involves reducing habitual evaluative processing supported by midline structures of the prefrontal cortex. Instead, attentional resources are directed towards a limbic pathway for present-moment sensory awareness, involving the thalamus, insula, and primary sensory regions. In patients with affective disorders, mindfulness training acts as an alternative to cognitive efforts to control emotion, instead directing attention towards broadly monitoring fluctuations in momentary experience. Limiting cognitive elaboration in favor of momentary awareness appears to reduce automatic negative self-evaluation, increase tolerance for negative affect and pain, and help to engender self-compassion and empathy in chronically dysphoric individuals.
<p>This study was designed to test the hypothesis that mindfulness involves sustained attention, attention switching, inhibition of elaborative processing and non-directed attention. Healthy adults were tested before and after random assignment to an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course (n = 39) or a wait-list control (n = 33). Testing included measures of sustained attention, attention switching, Stroop interference (as a measure of inhibition of elaborative processing), detection of objects in consistent or inconsistent scenes (as a measure of non-directed attention), as well as self-report measures of emotional well-being and mindfulness. Participation in the MBSR course was associated with significantly greater improvements in emotional well-being and mindfulness, but no improvements in attentional control relative to the control group. However, improvements in mindfulness after MBSR were correlated with improvements in object detection. We discuss the implications of these results as they relate to the role of attention in mindfulness. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.</p>
This manuscript explores how one teacher educator worked to facilitate preservice teachers' (PSTs) learning across field- and university-based settings. Using socio-cultural learning theory as a lens, the analysis draws on case study data gathered for two PSTs from the same teacher education program (TEP), who experienced proximal, but considerably different student teaching placements in urban schools. Findings articulate the teacher educator's repertoire of moves as she worked to mediate PSTs' development as equity-minded, reflective practitioners. By examining the learner-centered and contextually sensitive aspects of teacher educator mediation, this manuscript challenges notions of "best practices" in teacher education and adds nuance to discussions about "rich" clinical experiences.
This article examines how power influences behavior. Elevated power is associated with increased rewards and freedom and thereby activates approach-related tendencies. Reduced power is associated with increased threat, punishment, and social constraint and thereby activates inhibition-related tendencies. The authors derive predictions from recent theorizing about approach and inhibition and review relevant evidence. Specifically, power is associated with (a) positive affect, (b) attention to rewards, (c) automatic information processing, and (d) disinhibited behavior. In contrast, reduced power is associated with (a) negative affect; (b) attention to threat, punishment, others' interests, and those features of the self that are relevant to others' goals; (c) controlled information processing; and (d) inhibited social behavior. The potential moderators and consequences of these power-related behavioral patterns are discussed.
In this article, we review diverse studies of the antecedents, facial display, and social consequences of embarrassment. These studies indicate that embarrassment serves an appeasement function, reconciling social relations when they have gone awry. We then speculate about how embarrassment is elaborated into more complex social interactions, such as teasing and flirtation. We conclude by raising questions about the blush and embarrassment that await empirical consideration.
In this study, the authors both developed and validated a self-report mindfulness measure, the Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS). In Study 1, participants were individuals with and without meditation experience. Results showed good internal consistency and two factors, Curiosity and Decentering. Most of the expected relationships with other constructs were as expected. The TMS scores increased with increasing mindfulness meditation experience. In Study 2. criterion and incremental validity of the TMS were investigated on a group of individuals participating in 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction programs. Results showed that TMS scores increased following treatment, and Decentering scores predicted improvements in clinical outcome. Thus, the TMS is a promising measure of the mindfulness state with good psychometric properties and predictive of treatment outcome. Keywords: Toronto Mindfulness Scale; self-report assessment: mindfulness; meditation; psychometric characteristics
Given today's hurried and stressful heathcare system, nurses need mechanisms to take care of themselves, promote their own wellness, and build resilience in managing sick patients. Yoga is one such mechanism; it can decrease anxiety and improve sleep and quality of life. In this pilot study, nine nurses participated in 6 weekly sessions of yoga nidra. Measures of sleep, stress, and muscle fatigue were obtained to determine whether yoga had a positive impact upon quality of life and stress. Although based on a small sample of nurses, results indicated positive findings for both perceived stress level and muscle fatigue. This pilot study demonstrated the potential benefit of yoga in stress reduction, muscle tension, and self-care in nurses.
For survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), verbal disclosure is often complex and painful. The authors examined the voluntary disclosure-nondisclosure of CSA in relation to nonverbal expressions of emotion in the face. Consistent with hypotheses derived from recent theorizing about the moral nature of emotion, CSA survivors who did not voluntarily disclose CSA showed greater facial expressions of shame, whereas CSA survivors who voluntarily disclosed CSA expressed greater disgust. Expressions of disgust also signaled sexual abuse accompanied by violence. Consistent with recent theorizing about smiling behavior, CSA nondisclosers made more polite smiles, whereas nonabused participants expressed greater genuine positive emotion. Discussion addressed the implications of these findings for the study of disclosure of traumatic events, facial expression, and the links between morality and emotion.
One of the most important goals and outcomes of social life is to attain status in the groups to which we belong. Such face-to-face status is defined by the amount of respect, influence, and prominence each member enjoys in the eyes of the others. Three studies investigated personological determinants of status in social groups (fraternity, sorority, and dormitory), relating the Big Five personality traits and physical attractiveness to peer ratings of status. High Extraversion substantially predicted elevated status for both sexes. High Neuroticism, incompatible with male gender norms, predicted lower status in men. None of the other Big Five traits predicted status. These effects were independent of attractiveness, which predicted higher status only in men. Contrary to previous claims, women's status ordering was just as stable as men's but emerged later. Discussion focuses on personological pathways to attaining status and on potential mediators.
Much of the literature on yoga and psychoanalysis focuses on similarities and dierences between these healing traditions (Brar, 1970; Chakraborty, 1970; Neki, 1967; Vaidyanathan & Kripal, 1999). What would happen if we used yoga and psychoanalysis to complement each other? How would such a partnership aect the progress of an analysis and what adverse consequences might ensue? If we observe that yoga facilitates psychoanalysis, how do we understand such eects in light of current neuro-psychoanalytic concepts?