An important next step in the field of mindfulness measurement is the development of behavioral methods quantifying processes of attention and awareness in mindfulness meditation. We propose that these processes include: sustained attention, disengagement from mindlessness, intentional shifting of awareness, and an open field of awareness. Accordingly, we developed a novel behavioral paradigm measuring these processes – the Meta-Awareness Task (MAT). In the MAT participants provide real-time reports of their awareness of present moment experiences during a mindfulness meditation. We measure mindfulness processes using variables derived from (1) computerized algorithms analyzing the timing and order of participants’ reports of their awareness, and (2) manualized qualitative coding of participants’ verbal reports of their awareness. We test this novel measurement in two studies. In the first study 144 adults completed the MAT, self-report scales and behavioral tasks measuring mindfulness related processes. Data analysis is currently underway. The second study will use the MAT to examine differences in attention and awareness during mindfulness meditation between experienced mindfulness meditators and people with no experience in mindfulness meditation. Findings from these studies will help test and validate this novel mindfulness measurement methodology as well as help illuminate key attention and awareness processes in mindfulness meditation.

Yuval Hadash

University of Haifa

Yuval Hadash is a Psychologist and Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology working with Prof. Amit Bernstein in the International Research Collaborative on Anxiety (IRCA) laboratory at the University of Haifa, … MORE