Mindfulness is Associated with Positive Personality Characteristics and Greater Safety Behavior

Mindfulness is Associated with Positive Personality Characteristics and Greater Safety Behavior

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

By making mindfulness an accessible practice, and giving workers the tools they need to keep it up, safety professionals can significantly change lives – and not just in the workplace.” – American Association of Safety Professionals

 

Working in construction is dangerous. In the U.S. an average of 2 construction workers die each day. In fact, while only 6% of workers are in the construction industry, 20% of workplace fatalities are construction related. Injury rates in construction are 71% higher than injury rates across all industries on average. The top causes of construction related fatalities are falls, being struck-by an object, electrocution, and being caught between objects.

 

A loss of attention and concentration can lead to many construction-related injuries. Mindfulness on the other hand is related to improved attention, reduced numbers of falls, reduced mind wandering, and a reduction in impulsivity. So, mindfulness may be related to workplace safety. Trait mindfulness of workers, then is likely to be related to construction safety.

 

In today’s Research News article “Examining the Relationship between Mindfulness, Personality, and National Culture for Construction Safety.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125938/ ) Soloman and Esmaeili recruited construction workers and civil engineering students and had them complete measures of mindfulness, personality characteristics: including extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness, and national culture including: power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity vs. femininity.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the higher the levels of the personality traits of conscientiousness and agreeableness and the national cultural variable of uncertainty avoidance. They also found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of the personality trait of neuroticism.

 

These results are correlative, so causation can not be determined, But previous manipulative research has established the mindfulness causes increases in conscientiousness and agreeableness and decreases in neuroticism. This suggests that mindfulness is associated with and can improve positive personality traits. A new finding here is that mindfulness is also associated with uncertainty avoidance. From the perspective of the construction worker this would suggest that mindful workers pay more attention to their situation and don’t take risks but work to make sure they understand the situation they’re in. This should greatly improve safety. In addition, they are more conscientious, and this too would predict greater attention to safety.

 

The results are interesting and should be followed up with controlled manipulative studies. Nevertheless, the results suggest that mindfulness should improve worker safety and that certain personality types should be earmarked for attention to their safety. Neurotic, less conscientious, and low mindfulness workers may need to be identified and exposed to greater training including training in mindfulness.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with positive personality characteristics and greater safety behavior.

 

there are great opportunities for low-dose mindfulness to positively impact workplace safety, potentially saving individuals from harm and organizations from costly accidents.” – Connell Nolan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Solomon, T., & Esmaeili, B. (2021). Examining the Relationship between Mindfulness, Personality, and National Culture for Construction Safety. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(9), 4998. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094998

 

Abstract

The construction industry still leads the world as one of the sectors with the most work-related injuries and worker fatalities. Considering that one of the barriers to improving construction safety is its stressful working environment, which increases risk of inattentiveness among construction workers, safety managers seek practices to measure and enhance worker focus and reduce stress, such as mindfulness. Considering the important role of mindfulness in curbing frequency and severity of incidents, researchers are interested in understanding the relationship between mindfulness and other common, more static human characteristics. As a result, this study examines the relationship between mindfulness and such variables as personality and national culture in the context of construction safety. Collecting data from 155 participants, this study used elastic net regression to examine the influence of independent (i.e., personality and national culture) variables on the dependent (i.e., mindfulness) variable. To validate the results of the regression, 10-fold cross-validation was conducted. The results reveal that certain personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness) and national cultural dimensions (e.g., uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and collectivism) can be used as predictors of mindfulness for individuals. Since mindfulness has shown to increase safety and work performance, safety managers can utilize these variables to identify at-risk workers so that additional safety training can be provided to enhance work performance and improve safety outcomes. The results of this study will inform future work into translating personal and mindfulness characteristics into factors that predict specific elements of unsafe human behaviors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125938/

 

Decrease Defensiveness and Increase Psychological Health with Meditation

Decrease Defensiveness and Increase Psychological Health with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. . . People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance.” – Matthew Thorpe

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that the development of mindfulness has positive benefits for the individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. Mindfulness appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalities, race, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented.

 

Meditation practice has been shown to improve physical and psychological health and longevity. But people use defense mechanisms to cope with demanding emotional situations, including stress. It is not known if this defensiveness may interfere with the ability of meditation practice to improve the psychological health of the practitioners.

 

In today’s Research News article “Defensive Functioning Moderates the Effects of Nondirective Meditation.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876444/ )  Hersoug and colleagues recruited adult working professionals and had them attend a 2-hour seminar on stress management. Afterward they were assigned to either a no-treatment control condition or to receive 5 2-hour sessions over 8 weeks of open monitoring meditation training. They were measured before and after training and 1 and 4 months later for defense mechanisms, neuroticism, general health, insomnia, and musculoskeletal pain.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control group, the group that received open monitoring meditation training had significant improvements in sleep, muscle pain, neuroticism, and general health. These improvements were maintained during the follow-up period. They also found that the levels of defense mechanisms moderated these improvements such that the greater the level of defensiveness, the smaller the impact of meditation training on the physical and psychological health of the participants.

 

The findings suggest that open monitoring meditation training is beneficial for the psychological and physical health of working professionals. This replicates previous findings that mindfulness training improves sleep, personality, health, and pain. The current study adds that these effects are negatively impacted by the level of defense mechanisms of the participants. In other words, using defense mechanisms when confronted by stress rather than seeing it for what it is interferes with the ability of open monitoring meditation to improve psychological functioning and health. This makes sense as open monitoring meditation practice is designed to improve the individual’s ability to see things as they are. Using defense mechanisms interferes with seeing things as they are.

 

So, decrease defensiveness and increase psychological health with meditation.

 

mindfulness meditation . . .  practices focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration.” – Daphne Davis

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hersoug, A. G., Wærsted, M., & Lau, B. (2021). Defensive Functioning Moderates the Effects of Nondirective Meditation. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 629784. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.629784

 

Abstract

We have recently found that nondirective meditation facilitates stress reduction. This supplementary study investigated whether defensive functioning would moderate these beneficial effects. We explored the occurrence of defense mechanisms and the impact of defensive functioning on the outcome of companies’ stress management programs regarding worries nervousness, mental distress, sleep problems, and muscle pain. The sample was a population of active, working professionals recruited from Norwegian companies (n = 105). The intervention group obtained significant benefits on all outcome measures, but there were no effects in the control group. We analyzed defensive functioning with the self-report questionnaire, Life Style Index, at four time points. The healthy adults who participated had a low level of defense scores at the outset. There was a significant reduction in the level of defenses in both groups over the study period, 6 months. Defensive functioning significantly moderated the change of the outcome measures from baseline to follow-up in the intervention group, but not in the control group.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876444/

 

Mind Wandering is Negatively Associated with Attention and Academic Success

Mind Wandering is Negatively Associated with Attention and Academic Success

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mind-wandering–related deficits in performance have been observed in many contexts, most notably reading, tests of sustained attention, and tests of aptitude.” – Sara Briggs

 

We spend a tremendous amount of waking time with our minds wandering and not on the present environment or the task at hand. We daydream, plan for the future, review the past, ruminate on our failures, exalt in our successes. In fact, we spend almost half of our waking hours off task with our mind wandering. Mindfulness is the antithesis of mind wandering. When we’re mindful, we’re paying attention to what is occurring in the present moment. In fact, the more mindful we are the less the mind wanders and mindfulness training reduces mind wandering.

 

You’d think that if we spend so much time with the mind wandering it must be enjoyable. But, in fact research has shown that when our minds are wandering, we are actually less happy than when we are paying attention to what is at hand. There are times when mind wandering may be useful, especially in regard to planning and creative thinking. But, for the most part, it interferes with our concentration on the present moment and what we’re doing and makes us unhappy. There is budding research interest in studying mind wandering and its effects upon academic success.

 

In today’s Research News article “Trait-Level Variability in Attention Modulates Mind Wandering and Academic Achievement.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7271744/ )  In the first of two experiments, Pereira and colleagues recruited participants online and had them complete measures of overall grade point average, levels of mind wandering, effortful control, orienting sensitivity, and negative emotions. They found that mind wandering was reported to occur 19% of the time. They found that the higher the levels of mind wandering, the lower the levels of effortful control and extraversion, but higher levels of negative emotions. They also found that for participants low in effortful control that mind wandering was associated with lower academic performance while for those high in effortful control mind wandering was associated with better academic performance.

 

In the first experiment they used a self-report measure of mind wandering. In the second experiment they employed an objective measure of mind wandering. They recruited college students and had them complete the same measures as in the first experiment. They then tested them with a visual metronome (tracking) task where response variation is an objective measure of mind wandering. Similar to experiment 1 they found that the higher the levels of mind wandering, the lower the levels of effortful control.

 

The results suggest that one of the key associations of mind wandering is with lower effortful control. Effortful control is a measure of the ability to focus attention. The measure involves agreement with statements such as “I can keep performing a task even when I would rather not do it.” Since the results are correlational it cannot be determined if mind wandering lowers effortful control or if effortful control lowers mind wandering. It will require a manipulative study to determine this. Regardless, the results suggest that mind wandering and effortful control are negatively related and that high effortful control appears to counteract the negative effect of mind wandering on academic performance.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be associated with lower mind wandering and better academic performance. It would be interesting to investigate the ability of mindfulness training to produce changes in effortful control and mind wandering and their relationship with academic performance.

 

So, mind wandering is negatively associated with attention and academic success.

 

mind wandering is related to lecture comprehension, reading, general academic ability, problem solving, and future planning.” – Amy Pachai

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pereira, E. J., Gurguryan, L., & Ristic, J. (2020). Trait-Level Variability in Attention Modulates Mind Wandering and Academic Achievement. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 909. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00909

 

Abstract

Although mind wandering remains ubiquitous in daily life, the processes that underlie and sustain this behavior remain poorly understood. Across two experiments, we studied the role of intrinsic temperament traits, which shape stable behavioral processes, in moderating the association between mind wandering and the real-life functional outcome of academic success. In Experiment 1, participants completed the Mind Wandering Questionnaire, the Adult Temperament Questionnaire, and reported their grade for the highest degree completed or in progress. Individuals with traits of low Effortful control, high Negative affect, and low Extraversion indicated more mind wandering. Effortful control moderated the relationship between mind wandering and academic success, with higher tendency for mind wandering associated with higher academic achievement for individuals with high Effortful control, and lower academic achievement for those with low Effortful control. Experiment 2 confirmed these links using the visual metronome response task, an objective measure of mind wandering. Together, these results suggest that the intrinsic temperament trait of Effortful control represents one of the key mechanisms behind the functional influence of mind wandering on real-life outcomes. This work places an innate ability to control attention at the very core of real life success, and highlights the need for studying mind wandering through an interdisciplinary lens that brings together cognitive, biological, social, and clinical theories in order to understand the fundamental mechanisms that drive this behavior.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7271744/

 

Improve Personality with Psychedelic Drugs

Improve Personality with Psychedelic Drugs

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“the results of decreased neuroticism and increased openness and agreeableness were statistically significant when compared with the control groups, providing more specific support for ayahuasca’s therapeutic role.” – Alex Criddle

 

Psychedelic substances such as peyote, mescaline, LSD, Bufotoxin, ayahuasca and psilocybin have been used almost since the beginning of recorded history to alter consciousness and produce spiritually meaningful experiences. Psychedelics produce effects that are similar to those that are reported in spiritual awakenings. They report a loss of the personal self, a decentering. They experience what they used to refer to as the self as just a part of an integrated whole. They report feeling interconnected with everything else in a sense of oneness with all things. They experience a feeling of timelessness where time seems to stop and everything is taking place in a single present moment. They experience ineffability, being unable to express in words what they are experiencing and as a result sometimes producing paradoxical statements. And they experience a positive mood, with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

 

It is easy to see why people find these experiences so pleasant and eye opening. They often report that the experiences changed them forever. Even though the effects of psychedelic substances have been experienced and reported on for centuries, only very recently have these effects come under rigorous scientific scrutiny.

 

In today’s Research News article “Modulatory effects of ayahuasca on personality structure in a traditional framework.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524857/ ) Netzband and colleagues recruited adults seeking an experience with ayahuasca and a matched group of adults. The experimental group attended a 12-day retreat at the Ayahuasca Foundation where they received 6 standardized Ayahuasca sessions under close supervision. They were measured before and after the retreat and 6 months later for mystical experiences and the big five personality traits; openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

 

They found that in comparison to the baseline and the matched control group that the group that received Ayahuasca had a significant decrease in neuroticism and an increase in agreeableness, and openness to experience after the retreat. These changes were stable as they were maintained at the 6-month follow-up. In addition, they found that the greater the mystical experiences occurring the greater the reduction in neuroticism.

 

It should be kept in mind that this is a non-equivalent control group design. It would have been a stronger design if the comparison group was a wait-list groups of Ayahuasca seekers. So, care must be taken in interpreting the results.

 

Neuroticism involves a tendency toward anxietydepression, self-doubt, and other negative feelings. The results then suggest that Ayahuasca experience improves neuroticism thereby improving the mental health of the participants. This is also reflected in the increase in agreeableness, the positive traits of kindness, sympathy, cooperation, warmth, and consideration. These findings then suggest that psychedelic experiences improve the mental health of the participants. Since, the degree of improvement was related to the degree of mystical experience occurring, it is possible that having mystical experiences fundamentally changes the individual improving their psychological health. These findings are compatible with the use of psychedelics to treat mental illness.

 

So, improve personality with psychedelic drugs.

 

After the ayahuasca use, more than 80% of those subjects showed clinical improvements that persisted at 6 months. The questionnaires showed significant reductions in depression and psychopathology. . . long-term users showed lower depression scores, and higher scores for self-transcendence and quality of life.” – Daniel F. Jiménez-Garrido

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Netzband, N., Ruffell, S., Linton, S., Tsang, W. F., & Wolff, T. (2020). Modulatory effects of ayahuasca on personality structure in a traditional framework. Psychopharmacology, 237(10), 3161–3171. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05601-0

 

Abstract

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive plant brew containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It originates from the Amazon basin, where it is used primarily for ceremonial purposes. Ayahuasca tourists are now entering certain communities seeking alternative physical or psychological healing, as well as spiritual growth.

Rationale

Recent evidence has shown that the similar acting psychedelic compound, psilocybin, facilitated long-term increases in trait openness following a single administration.

Objectives

This paper assesses the impact of ayahuasca on personality in a traditional framework catering for ayahuasca tourists.

Method

Within a mixed design, we examined the effect of ayahuasca on participants’ personality (measured by the NEO Personality Inventory 3 questionnaire) across time (pre- to post-ayahuasca administration, and 6-month follow-up), relative to a comparison group (who did not ingest ayahuasca).

Results

The results demonstrated significant increases in agreeableness pre- and post-ayahuasca administration and significant reductions in neuroticism in 24 participants, relative to the comparison group. Both of these changes were sustained at 6-month follow-up, and trait level increases were also observed in openness at this stage. Additionally, greater perceived mystical experience (measured using the Mystical Experience Questionnaire 30) was associated with increased reductions in neuroticism.

Conclusions

These findings, which indicate a positive mediating effect of ayahuasca on personality, support the growing literature suggesting potential therapeutic avenues for serotonergic psychedelics.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524857/

 

Mindfulness Improves Mental Health in Spite of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Mindfulness Improves Mental Health in Spite of the Covid-19 Pandemic

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Practicing mindfulness is an easy, free and natural way to boost your anxiety coping skills. Not only that, but it also helps our ability to manage emotions, and with some aspects of our physical health. If the coronavirus lockdowns has left you with some extra time, make this crisis into an opportunity for you to start (or strengthen) a healthy habit – mindfulness practice.” – Paul Green

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental and physical health of the population. It has created intense stress both for frontline workers but also for people simply isolating at home. Mindfulness is known to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress. So, mindfulness training may be helpful in coping with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In today’s Research News article “Positive Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Mental Health of Female Teachers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559290/ ) Matiz and colleagues recruited female school teachers in Italy and provided them with a mindfulness training program that was scheduled for 8 weekly 2-hour meetings with 30 minutes of daily home practice. But, the lockdown in Italy from Covid-19 occurred a few weeks into the program. So, the last few weeks of mindfulness training was provided online. They were measured before and after training for mindfulness, empathy, personality, interoceptive awareness, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, teacher burnout, and evaluation of the mindfulness training course. They separated the teachers into high and low resilience groups based upon their personality resilience score.

 

They found that from baseline to follow-up both groups increased in mindfulness and the personality factors of cooperativeness and self-transcendence, but the high resilience group had significantly greater increases. Both groups increased in psychological well-being but the low resilience group had a significantly greater increase in the positive relations with others subscale. Both groups decreased in anxiety and depression but the low resilience group had significantly greater decreases. Both groups had significant improvements in empathy, interoceptive awareness, and teacher burnout.

 

This is an interesting natural experiment with the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown intervening in the middle of an otherwise simple study of mindfulness training effects on school teachers’ mental health. Obviously, there is no control condition. So, the before and after training results are confounded by the lockdown. As a result, no clear conclusions can be reached. But, the Covid-19 lockdown had to have been very upsetting to the teachers. So, a decrease in their mental well-being would be expected. In prior studies it has been well established that mindfulness training lowers anxiety depression, and burnout and increases well-being, interoceptive awareness and empathy. Indeed, in the present study after the mindfulness course the teachers’ mental well-being was improved. So, mindfulness training appears to improve the mental health of the teachers in spite of the inferred negative effect of the pandemic lockdown. In addition, these effects appear to be modulated by the teachers’ levels of resilience.

 

So, mindfulness improves mental health in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Fear leaves people feeling helpless and exhausted, seeing that “we’re in it together” helps ease the emotional burden we feel and encourages more agency—the sense that we can do something constructive to fight the pandemic.” – Jill Suttie

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are a also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Matiz, A., Fabbro, F., Paschetto, A., Cantone, D., Paolone, A. R., & Crescentini, C. (2020). Positive Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Mental Health of Female Teachers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(18), 6450. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186450

 

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures were shown to impact negatively on people’s mental health. In particular, women were reported to be at higher risk than men of developing symptoms of stress/anxiety/depression, and resilience was considered a key factor for positive mental health outcomes. In the present study, a sample of Italian female teachers (n = 66, age: 51.5 ± 7.9 years) was assessed with self-report instruments one month before and one month after the start of the Covid-19 lockdown: mindfulness skills, empathy, personality profiles, interoceptive awareness, psychological well-being, emotional distress and burnout levels were measured. Meanwhile, they received an 8-week Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation (MOM) course, through two group meetings and six individual video-lessons. Based on baseline personality profiles, analyses of variance were performed in a low-resilience (LR, n = 32) and a high-resilience (HR, n = 26) group. The LR and HR groups differed at baseline in most of the self-report measures. Pre–post MOM significant improvements were found in both groups in anxiety, depression, affective empathy, emotional exhaustion, psychological well-being, interoceptive awareness, character traits and mindfulness levels. Improvements in depression and psychological well-being were higher in the LR vs. HR group. We conclude that mindfulness-based training can effectively mitigate the psychological negative consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, helping in particular to restore well-being in the most vulnerable individuals.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559290/

 

Reduce Depression in Vindictive/Self‐Centered Depressed Patients with Mindfulness

Reduce Depression in Vindictive/Self‐Centered Depressed Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

there are a handful of key areas — including depression, chronic pain, and anxiety — in which well-designed, well-run studies have shown benefits for patients engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments.” – Alvin Powell

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs, only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs failMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. MBCT has been found to be effective in treating depression. Problematic interpersonal styles, such as submissive and hostile styles are characteristics of patients with chronic depression. It is possible that MBCT has differential effectiveness for depression, in patient’s with certain interpersonal problems and not others.

 

In today’s Research News article “Patients’ interpersonal problems as moderators of depression outcomes in a randomized controlled trial comparing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and a group version of the cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy in chronic depression.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318258/) Probst and colleagues recruited participants with a current, long-term, at least 2 years, major depressive disorder. They all received their treatment as usual. They were randomly assigned to receive either no additional treatment, or to receive 8 weeks, once a week, for 2.5 hours group sessions of either Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP). They were measured before and after treatment and 6 months later for depression, interpersonal problems including domineering/controlling; vindictive/self‐centered; cold/distant; socially inhibited/avoidant; nonassertive; overly accommodating/exploitable; self‐sacrificing/overly nurturant; and intrusive/needy.

 

They found that both treatments significantly reduced depression levels. But patients who were high in vindictive/self‐centered interpersonal problems benefited more (had a greater reductions in depression) from Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), than from cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP). Conversely, patients who were high in nonassertive interpersonal problems benefited more (had a greater reductions in depression) from cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) than from MBCT.

 

Vindictive/self‐centered individuals are frequently egocentric and hostile in dealing with others. Mindfulness training has been shown to produce decentering and lower hostility. So, it makes sense that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) would be particularly effective with these patients. On the other hand, nonassertive patients have difficulty expressing their needs to others and cognitive behavioral analysis appears to work better for them.

 

There are a number of different types of therapy for depression. So, the results of the present study are very useful. They suggest that knowing the particular interpersonal problems a patient has can help to select the form of therapy that will be maximally beneficial for them. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) appears to work best for vindictive/self‐centered depressed patients reducing their egocentricity and hostility.

 

So, reduce depression in vindictive/self‐centered depressed patients with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a group program that is generally used to delay or prevent recurrence of major depression, but can also ameliorate acute depressive syndromes and symptoms.” – Zindel Segal

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Probst, T., Schramm, E., Heidenreich, T., Klein, J. P., & Michalak, J. (2020). Patients’ interpersonal problems as moderators of depression outcomes in a randomized controlled trial comparing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and a group version of the cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy in chronic depression. Journal of clinical psychology, 76(7), 1241–1254. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22931

 

Abstract

Objectives

Interpersonal problems were examined as moderators of depression outcomes between mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) in patients with chronic depression.

Methods

Patients received treatment‐as‐usual and, in addition, were randomized to 8‐weeks of MBCT (n = 34) or 8‐weeks of CBASP (n = 34). MBCT and CBASP were given in a group format. The Hamilton depression rating scale (HAM‐D) was the primary and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI‐II) the secondary outcome. The subscales of the Inventory of interpersonal problems (IIP‐32) were moderators. Multilevel models were performed.

Results

Higher scores on the “vindictive/self‐centered” subscale were associated with a better outcome in MBCT than in CBASP (HAM‐D: p < .01; BDI‐II: p < .01). Higher scores on the “nonassertive” subscale were associated with a better outcome in CBASP than in MBCT (HAM‐D: p < .01; BDI‐II: p < .01).

Conclusions

If these results can be replicated in larger trials, MBCT should be preferred to CBASP in chronically depressed patients being vindictive/self‐centered, whereas CBASP should be preferred to MBCT in chronically depressed patients being nonassertive.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318258/

 

People Select Mindfulness Training Techniques Based Upon Their Personal Characteristics

People Select Mindfulness Training Techniques Based Upon Their Personal Characteristics

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Meditation is a simple strategy that can help obtain better health and a happier life. It takes time to master, as does any other skill. If a person sticks with it and is willing to experiment with the different methods, they are more likely to discover a meditation style that suits them.” – Medical News Today

 

Meditation training has been shown to improve health and well-being. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. As a result, meditation training has been called the third wave of therapies. One problem with understanding meditation effects is that there are, a wide variety of meditation techniques and it is not known which work best for affecting different psychological areas.

 

Four types of meditation are the most commonly used practices for research purposes. In body scan meditation, the individual focuses on the feelings and sensations of specific parts of the body, systematically moving attention from one area to another. Loving kindness meditation is designed to develop kindness and compassion to oneself and others. The individual systematically pictures different individuals from self, to close friends, to enemies and wishes them happiness, well-being, safety, peace, and ease of well-being. In focused attention meditation, the individual practices paying attention to a single meditation object, learns to filter out distracting stimuli, including thoughts, and learns to stay focused on the present moment, filtering out thoughts centered around the past or future. On the other hand, in open monitoring meditation, the individual opens up awareness to everything that’s being experienced regardless of its origin. These include bodily sensations, external stimuli, and even thoughts. The meditator just observes these stimuli and lets them arise, and fall away without paying them any further attention.

 

There is little understanding as to why an individual chooses one meditation technique over another. In today’s Research News article “Predicting Individual Preferences in Mindfulness Techniques Using Personality Traits.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01163/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1365539_69_Psycho_20200630_arts_A),  Tang and Braver examine the characteristics of individuals who choose either body scan meditationloving kindness meditationfocused attention meditation, or open monitoring meditation.

 

They recruited adults online who did not practice mindfulness or yoga and presented them with 5 daily recorded sessions. In the first 45-minute session the participants completed measures of mindfulness, big 5 personality traits, self-compassion, interpersonal reactivity, perceived stress, sensory processing sensitivity, and attentional control and absorption. They were also provided an introduction to meditation techniques with descriptions of all 4 techniques. On subsequent days they were directed by recorded instructions to practice for 15-20 minutes either body scan meditationloving kindness meditationfocused attention meditation, or open monitoring meditation. The order of the 4 practices was randomized for each participant. After each session they were asked questions regarding their content to ensure that they performed the practices. After completing all sessions, the participants were asked to rank them according to their preferences.

 

They found that all of the meditation techniques were about equally distributed in the preferences of the participants. There were no significant predictors of preferences for focused attention meditation or body scan meditation, but there were significant predictors of preferences for loving kindness meditation and open monitoring meditation. Female participants and participants who were high in empathy were significantly more likely to prefer loving kindness meditation. Participants who were high in the mindfulness facets of non-judging and non-reacting were significantly more likely to prefer open monitoring meditation.

 

These results make sense. Empathetic people, particularly women, are more sensitive to the feelings of others and so they would find meditating on those feelings, loving kindness meditation, more attractive. Open monitoring meditation. involves simply observing whatever is transpiring without judgement and reaction. So, it makes sense that people who were high in in the mindfulness facets of non-judging and non-reacting would find this form of meditation more attractive.

 

So, people select mindfulness training techniques based upon their personal characteristics.

 

“In the end, the best meditation technique and the one that will help you gain the most positive benefits is one you can stick to.” – Elizabeth Scott

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Tang R and Braver TS (2020) Predicting Individual Preferences in Mindfulness Techniques Using Personality Traits. Front. Psychol. 11:1163. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01163

 

The growing popularity of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has prompted exciting scientific research investigating their beneficial effects on well-being and health. Most mindfulness programs are provided as multi-faceted packages encompassing a set of different mindfulness techniques, each with distinct focus and mechanisms. However, this approach overlooks potential individual differences, which may arise in response to practicing various mindfulness techniques. The present study investigated preferences for four prototypical mindfulness techniques [focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM), loving-kindness (LK), and body scan (BS)] and identified factors that may contribute to individual differences in these preferences. Participants without prior mindfulness experiences were exposed to each technique through audio-guided instructions and were asked to rank their preferences at the end of all practices. Results indicated that preferences for loving-kindness were predicted by empathy, and that females tended to prefer loving-kindness more than males. Conversely, preferences for open monitoring were predicted by nonreactivity and nonjudgment of present moment experiences. Additionally, higher state mindfulness was detected for individuals’ preferred technique relative to other alternatives. These findings suggest that individuals tend to prefer techniques compatible with their personalities, as the predictor variables encompass trait capacities specifically relevant to practicing these techniques. Together, our results suggest the possibility that assessing individual difference and then tailoring MBIs to individual needs could be a useful way to improve intervention effectiveness and subsequent outcomes.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01163/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1365539_69_Psycho_20200630_arts_A

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Better Ability to Negotiate

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Better Ability to Negotiate

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness training increases empathy . . . enabling us to better appreciate the standpoint of the other parties to the negotiation. It makes it easier to reach a compromise and allows us to feel more connected with those we’re negotiating with – thus creating a sense of affiliation.” – Mindfulness Works

 

Negotiations are important not only in business but also in conflict resolution and mindfulness can help. It is important in negotiations to be sensitive to the nuances of behaviors. By being mindful the negotiator becomes more attentive and empathetic, making it easier to read the nonverbal cues from the other person. These cues are important for understanding their emotional reactions to each stage of the negotiations and can thereby assist the negotiator in understanding the needs of the other and thereby refining offers and counteroffers. Being attuned to another makes responses better aligned with what is needed for a successful negotiation.

 

Another way that mindfulness can be of help in negotiations is through improved emotion regulation. Mindfulness is associated with a heightened ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions. In a negotiation it is easy to react to emotions and as a result respond inappropriately or ignore the most logical negotiating step. Mindfulness has also been shown to improve problem solving and creativity. A negotiation can be viewed as a problem-solving task to identify the optimum strategy to produce the desired outcome. Also, by applying greater creativity to the problem the negotiator can devise novel solutions, optimizing outcomes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Variables Associated With Negotiation Effectiveness: The Role of Mindfulness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01214/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1356251_69_Psycho_20200618_arts_A), Pérez-Yus and colleagues recruited adult non-meditators and meditators with a daily practice of at least 6 months in duration. They completed questionnaires measuring negotiation effectiveness, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, personality, motivation, negotiation style, and their meditation practice.

 

They found that the higher the level of negotiation effectiveness the higher the level of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, achievement motivation, extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness, the personality traits of extraversion, openness and conscientiousness, and the negotiation styles of integrating, dominating, and compromising, and the lower the levels of neuroticism. In comparison to non-meditators, the meditators had significantly greater levels of emotional intelligence clarity, mindfulness, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, a greater tendency to acquire an integrating style in the negotiation, and a greater effectiveness of the negotiation and lower levels of neuroticism.

 

This study is correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. To establish causation, future research should examine the ability of mindfulness training to improve negotiation effectiveness. Nevertheless, the results suggest that meditation practice and mindfulness are associated with better negotiation effectiveness. Meditators are better negotiators. This is associated with emotional intelligence, and positive personality traits. Meditators had higher levels of integrating style of negotiations. In this style the negotiator is more attuned to the needs of everyone involved in the negotiation. So, meditators are better able to adjust the negotiation to satisfy everyone’s needs.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with better negotiation ability.

 

The results suggest that when a negotiation was more effective, mindfulness was a causal condition.” – Jamil Awaida

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pérez-Yus MC, Ayllón-Negrillo E, Delsignore G, Magallón-Botaya R, Aguilar-Latorre A and Oliván Blázquez B (2020) Variables Associated With Negotiation Effectiveness: The Role of Mindfulness. Front. Psychol. 11:1214. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01214

 

Negotiation is the main mean of conflict resolution. Despite its capital importance, little is known about influencing variables or effective interventions. Mindfulness has shown to improve subjects’ performance in different settings but until now, no study has shown its impact in negotiation. The aim of this study is to analyze which variables are associated with effectiveness and to determine if meditators are more effective in negotiation. A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out. The study variables were: socio-demographic variables, negotiation effectiveness (Negotiation Effectiveness Questionnaire), mindfulness (Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire), emotional intelligence (Trait Meta-Mood Scale Questionnaire), personality (NEO-FFI personality inventory), motivation (McClelland Questionnaire), and negotiation style (Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II). A correlational study and a multivariate model were developed. Negotiation effectiveness was associated with age, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, achievement motivation, integrating, dominating, and compromising negotiation styles and inversely correlated toward neuroticism. The effectiveness of the negotiation is explained by the variables clarity, age, conscientiousness, dominating, and compromising style. Meditators were found to be more effective than non-meditators.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01214/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1356251_69_Psycho_20200618_arts_A

 

Being Mindfully Non-Judgmental is Associated with Greater Happiness

Being Mindfully Non-Judgmental is Associated with Greater Happiness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Start taking notice of these everyday moments, and bask in their glow for a beat or two. The more easily you can identify even the simplest of joys in life, the more of them you’ll discover, everywhere.” – Kelle Walsh

 

Meditation leads to concentration, concentration leads to understanding, and understanding leads to happiness” – This wonderful quote from the modern day sage Thich Nhat Hahn is a beautiful pithy description of the benefits of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness allows us to view our experience and not judge it, not put labels on it, not make assumptions about it, not relate it to past experiences, and not project it into the future. Rather mindfulness lets us experience everything around and within us exactly as it is arising and falling away from moment to moment.

 

A variety of forms of mindfulness training have been shown to increase psychological well-being and happiness. So, it would be expected that yoga practice would similarly increase these positive states. It is not known, however, if the relationship of mindfulness with happiness moderated by the personality of the individual.

 

In today’s Research News article “Personality and nonjudging make you happier: Contribution of the Five-Factor Model, mindfulness facets and a mindfulness intervention to subjective well-being.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999907/), Ortet and colleagues recruited two samples, college students and healthy adults from the community. A subsample of the community participants received a once a week for 6-weeks, 2-hour, training in mindfulness and metacognition including knowing how to differentiate between the story attached to experience and the actual present moment one. The participants completed the Subjective Happiness Questionnaire, the Big Five Personality inventory measuring five broad domains of personality: emotional stability, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and the five facets of mindfulness including observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner experience, and nonreactivity to inner experience.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness, particularly the nonjudging facet, the higher the levels of subjective well-being, and all of the 5 of the personality traits of extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. They found that the personality factors that were most strongly associated with subjective well-being were emotional stability and extraversion. When personality factors were taken into account only the mindfulness facet of nonjudging was still positively associated with happiness.

 

These results are correlational and as such must be interpreted with caution. The fact that the individuals’ personality characteristic accounted for most of the mindfulness – happiness relationship underscores problems with causation. The third factor of personality was primarily responsible for the mindfulness – happiness relationship. But previous studies have demonstrated with manipulative studies that mindfulness causes an increase in happiness. So, the results of the present study likely result from a causal connection between the mindfulness facet of nonjudging and happiness.

 

The findings suggest that there are three factors that are particularly important for happiness. Being outgoing is associated with happiness indicating the importance of being engaged socially in being happy. Being emotionally stable is also associated with happiness indicating the importance of having consistent patterns of behavior for being happy. Finally, not judging inner experience but rather simply accepting it as it is, is associated with happiness. This suggests that stopping looking at inner experience as good or bad, deserved or undeserved, or painful or not is important for individual happiness. Allowing inner experience to simply occur with acceptance helps to promote happiness.

 

So, being mindfully non-judgmental is associated with greater happiness.

 

we’re happiest when we are mindful of the moment, and we’re least happy when the mind is wandering.” – Melli Obrien

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ortet, G., Pinazo, D., Walker, D., Gallego, S., Mezquita, L., & Ibáñez, M. I. (2020). Personality and nonjudging make you happier: Contribution of the Five-Factor Model, mindfulness facets and a mindfulness intervention to subjective well-being. PloS one, 15(2), e0228655. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228655

 

Abstract

Mindful individuals are able to acknowledge mind wandering and live in the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. Previous studies have found that both mind wandering and mindfulness are associated with subjective well-being. However, the main predictor of happiness is personality; more specifically, happier people are emotionally stable and extraverted. The present study aimed to explore the contribution of the five factors of personality, dispositional mindfulness facets and a mindfulness intervention to happiness. A sample of 372 university students was assessed with the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, and another sample of 217 community adults answered the Big Five Personality Trait Short Questionnaire. Both samples, 589 participants in all, completed the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Subjective Happiness Scale. Furthermore, 55 participants from the general population sample took a 6-week training course in meditation and developing mindfulness. The regression analyses showed that emotional stability and extraversion traits were the strongest predictors of subjective well-being. Nonetheless, the nonjudging facet, which is nonevaluative/acceptance awareness of thoughts and feelings, still remained a significant predictor of happiness when personality was accounted for. Finally, mindfulness training did not increase subjective well-being. Being nonjudgmental of one’s inner thoughts, feelings and sensations contributes to happiness even when personality is taken into account. Accordingly, it seems reasonable that mindfulness training that intends to improve subjective well-being should focus on noticing thoughts without judging them.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999907/

 

Spirituality is Associated with Better Psychological Well-Being but also Cognitive Distortions

Spirituality is Associated with Better Psychological Well-Being but also Cognitive Distortions

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

No causal link has been established, but higher levels of spirituality have been linked to increased compassion, strengthened relationships, and improved self-esteem.” – Psychology Today

 

Spirituality is defined as “one’s personal affirmation of and relationship to a higher power or to the sacred. There have been a number of studies of the influence of spirituality on the physical and psychological well-being of practitioners mostly showing positive benefits, with spirituality encouraging personal growth and mental health. Hence, it makes sense to study the relationships of spirituality with the individual’s characteristics to better understand how spirituality might influence psychological well-being.

 

In today’s Research News article “Spirituality, dimensional autism, and schizotypal traits: The search for meaning.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407781/), Crespi and colleagues recruited undergraduate students and had them complete questionnaires measuring spirituality including subscales measuring belief in God, search for meaning, mindfulness, and security, and also autism traits including social skills, communication, attention to detail, attention switching, and imagination subscales, and also schizotypal traits including constricted affect, social anxiety, magical thinking, unusual perceptions, ideas of reference, eccentric behavior, and odd speech.

 

They found that the higher the total levels of spirituality the lower the levels of autism traits and the higher the levels of positive schizotypal traits. Of the spirituality subscales they found that the higher the belief in God the higher the levels of positive schizotypal traits, including magical thinking and unusual perceptions. Of the spirituality subscales they found that the higher the search for meaning the lower the levels of autism traits and the higher the levels of positive schizotypal traits, including magical thinking and unusual perceptions. Of the spirituality subscales they found that the higher the mindfulness the lower the levels of autism traits.

 

It should be kept in mind that the results are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. The findings suggest that spirituality, especially search for meaning and mindfulness, is associated with less autism traits suggesting healthier personalities. But they also suggest that spirituality, especially belief in God and search for meaning, is associated with greater positive schizotypal traits, particularly with magical thinking and unusual perceptions. These findings suggest that belief in God and search for meaning are associated with distorted cognitive processes.

 

In total, the findings suggest that spirituality is associated with some strengths in the personality but also with cognitive distortions. It is possible that adherence to particular religions (religiosity) may be the reason for the opposing findings. Indeed, this idea is supported by the fact that belief in God was associated with the cognitive distortions. Unfortunately, the present study did not measure religiosity. Hopefully, future research will include measurement of religiosity.

 

So, spirituality is associated with better psychological well-being but also cognitive distortions.

 

There’s a lot of research linking health and more contentment with life, and having a regular spiritual practice. I personally can’t imagine getting through each day without connecting with my spiritual self, especially when life feels overwhelming or when I’m feeling a bit lost.” – Cara Howell

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/

They are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Crespi, B., Dinsdale, N., Read, S., & Hurd, P. (2019). Spirituality, dimensional autism, and schizotypal traits: The search for meaning. PloS one, 14(3), e0213456. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0213456

 

Abstract

The relationships of spirituality with human social cognition, as exemplified in autism spectrum and schizophrenia spectrum cognitive variation, remain largely unstudied. We quantified non-clinical levels of autism spectrum and schizotypal spectrum traits (using the Autism Quotient and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief Revised) and dimensions of spirituality (using the Hardt Spirituality Questionnaire) in a large sample of undergraduate students. We tested in particular the hypothesis, based on the diametrical model of autism and psychosis, that autism should be negatively associated, and positive schizotypal traits should be positively associated, with spirituality. Our primary findings were threefold. First, in support of the diametric model, total Spirituality score was significantly negatively correlated with total Autism Quotient score, and significantly positively correlated with Positive Schizotypal traits (the Schizotypal Personality Cognitive-Perceptual subscale), as predicted. Second, these associations were driven mainly by opposite patterns regarding the Search for Meaning Spirituality subscale, which was the only subscale that was significantly negatively associated with autism, and significantly positively associated with Positive Schizotypal traits. Third, Belief in God was positively correlated with Positive Schizotypal traits, but was uncorrelated with autism traits. The opposite findings for Search for Meaning can be interpreted in the contexts of well-supported cognitive models for understanding autism in terms of weak central coherence, and understanding Positive Schizotypal traits in terms of enhanced salience.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407781/