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Sustained Attention and Motivation in Zen Meditators and Non-meditators

Cardeña, Etzel LU ; Sjostedt, Joakim O. A. and Marcusson-Clavertz, David (2015) In Mindfulness 6(5). p.1082-1087
Abstract
This study investigated the ability of Zen meditators and non-meditators to sustain attention during an ongoing task. We hypothesized that meditators (n = 15) would sustain attention more efficiently than non-meditators (n = 19) by responding faster to task stimuli, making fewer commission errors, and reporting fewer interfering thoughts in the sustained attention to response task (SART). Their motivation to do the SART was evaluated with the motivation scale of the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (DSSQ), and after participants had completed the SART, they reported whether they had experienced task-related and task-irrelevant interferences through the thinking content scale of the DSSQ. The results indicated that meditators had higher... (More)
This study investigated the ability of Zen meditators and non-meditators to sustain attention during an ongoing task. We hypothesized that meditators (n = 15) would sustain attention more efficiently than non-meditators (n = 19) by responding faster to task stimuli, making fewer commission errors, and reporting fewer interfering thoughts in the sustained attention to response task (SART). Their motivation to do the SART was evaluated with the motivation scale of the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (DSSQ), and after participants had completed the SART, they reported whether they had experienced task-related and task-irrelevant interferences through the thinking content scale of the DSSQ. The results indicated that meditators had higher intrinsic motivation (although this scale had very low reliability) towards the SART whereas non-meditators had higher success motivation. Meditators and non-meditators did not significantly differ on commission errors on the SART, but meditators responded faster to SART stimuli. Meditators reported fewer task-related interferences than non-meditators, but the groups did not differ in the amount of task-irrelevant interferences. These results suggest that the difference between meditators and non-meditators is more nuanced than just a generalized improvement of the former in sustained attention. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Meditation, Attention, Mind-wandering, Motivation, SART, DSSQ
in
Mindfulness
volume
6
issue
5
pages
1082 - 1087
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000360921500012
  • scopus:84941214944
ISSN
1868-8535
DOI
10.1007/s12671-014-0357-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
39270e06-841f-481b-95b4-0047b3220663 (old id 8074332)
date added to LUP
2015-10-21 13:02:29
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:16:26
@article{39270e06-841f-481b-95b4-0047b3220663,
  abstract     = {This study investigated the ability of Zen meditators and non-meditators to sustain attention during an ongoing task. We hypothesized that meditators (n = 15) would sustain attention more efficiently than non-meditators (n = 19) by responding faster to task stimuli, making fewer commission errors, and reporting fewer interfering thoughts in the sustained attention to response task (SART). Their motivation to do the SART was evaluated with the motivation scale of the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (DSSQ), and after participants had completed the SART, they reported whether they had experienced task-related and task-irrelevant interferences through the thinking content scale of the DSSQ. The results indicated that meditators had higher intrinsic motivation (although this scale had very low reliability) towards the SART whereas non-meditators had higher success motivation. Meditators and non-meditators did not significantly differ on commission errors on the SART, but meditators responded faster to SART stimuli. Meditators reported fewer task-related interferences than non-meditators, but the groups did not differ in the amount of task-irrelevant interferences. These results suggest that the difference between meditators and non-meditators is more nuanced than just a generalized improvement of the former in sustained attention.},
  author       = {Cardeña, Etzel and Sjostedt, Joakim O. A. and Marcusson-Clavertz, David},
  issn         = {1868-8535},
  keyword      = {Meditation,Attention,Mind-wandering,Motivation,SART,DSSQ},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1082--1087},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Mindfulness},
  title        = {Sustained Attention and Motivation in Zen Meditators and Non-meditators},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0357-4},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2015},
}