Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Ruth A. Baer

Abstract

This study examined if levels of self-reported mindfulness and experiential avoidance were associated with subjective and physiological outcomes following exposure to distressing film clips. Participants consisted of 108 college-aged young adults who completed self-report measures assessing levels of mindfulness, experiential avoidance, and negative affect. Several devices designed to monitor physiological activity, specifically sympathetic nervous activation, were also attached to participants. Participants were shown four brief film clips of neutral and unpleasant stimuli while these devices were attached. After each film, subjective distress ratings were gathered every 20 seconds for a period of two minutes to determine extent of emotional recovery. Results showed that, contrary to predictions, self-reported mindfulness was positively correlated with subjective distress following particular emotional film clips. Furthermore, self-reported mindfulness was largely unrelated to changes in physiological activity during the film clips, in addition to subjective and physiological recovery from the films. Although most findings were nonsignificant, this investigation contributes to the existing literature by being the first to include a measure of self-report mindfulness in combination with an array of subjective and physiological instruments to evaluate responses to aversive stimuli.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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