Presentation Title

Mindfulness and Psychological Responses to the Global Pandemic

Location

Online - Session 6B

Start Date

4-21-2021 6:00 PM

Major Field of Study

Psychology

Student Type

Adult Degree Completion

Faculty Mentor(s)

Ian Madfes, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

When COVID-19 became a pandemic, it created significant anxiety for Americans. News about thousands of deaths has resulted in a heightened sense of mortality salience, the awareness that death is inevitable.

Terror Management Theory (TMT) posits that people are protected from death anxiety through two types of defense mechanisms. Distraction is one such defense mechanism, by which the perceived threat is not active in consciousness. Distraction can be seen by an individual's cognitive failures to attend to immediate circumstances. Another form of defense against death anxiety is to adhere to one’s worldview in an effort to maintain self-esteem. People feel safer when adhering to their worldview, which not only reduces anxiety, but increases self-esteem.

Mindfulness may be defined as non-judgmental, present-moment awareness. This ability to accept without reacting reduces anxiety. Mindfulness also leads to fewer cognitive failures (i.e., less distraction).

When faced with the mortality salience of COVID-19, TMT predicts that people will either endeavor to mediate death anxiety by the defense mechanisms of: 1) greater levels of distractive behaviors, as seen by more frequent cognitive failures, or 2) adhering to one’s worldview, which will be seen by increased self-esteem.

This study proposes to evaluate if mindfulness is an effective mediator of death anxiety which will then reduce need for psychological defense mechanisms. I hypothesize that those who rate higher than average on the mindfulness scale will have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of cognitive failure.

Participants ages 18 and older will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey, which will include: Personal Information Questionnaire, Cognitive Failure Questionnaire (CFQ), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RES), and Freiburg Mindfulness Scale (FMS). Results from this study will support the hypothesis if the correlational analysis shows a significant inverse relationship between CFQ and FMS and a direct relationship between RES and FMS.

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Apr 21st, 6:00 PM

Mindfulness and Psychological Responses to the Global Pandemic

Online - Session 6B

When COVID-19 became a pandemic, it created significant anxiety for Americans. News about thousands of deaths has resulted in a heightened sense of mortality salience, the awareness that death is inevitable.

Terror Management Theory (TMT) posits that people are protected from death anxiety through two types of defense mechanisms. Distraction is one such defense mechanism, by which the perceived threat is not active in consciousness. Distraction can be seen by an individual's cognitive failures to attend to immediate circumstances. Another form of defense against death anxiety is to adhere to one’s worldview in an effort to maintain self-esteem. People feel safer when adhering to their worldview, which not only reduces anxiety, but increases self-esteem.

Mindfulness may be defined as non-judgmental, present-moment awareness. This ability to accept without reacting reduces anxiety. Mindfulness also leads to fewer cognitive failures (i.e., less distraction).

When faced with the mortality salience of COVID-19, TMT predicts that people will either endeavor to mediate death anxiety by the defense mechanisms of: 1) greater levels of distractive behaviors, as seen by more frequent cognitive failures, or 2) adhering to one’s worldview, which will be seen by increased self-esteem.

This study proposes to evaluate if mindfulness is an effective mediator of death anxiety which will then reduce need for psychological defense mechanisms. I hypothesize that those who rate higher than average on the mindfulness scale will have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of cognitive failure.

Participants ages 18 and older will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey, which will include: Personal Information Questionnaire, Cognitive Failure Questionnaire (CFQ), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RES), and Freiburg Mindfulness Scale (FMS). Results from this study will support the hypothesis if the correlational analysis shows a significant inverse relationship between CFQ and FMS and a direct relationship between RES and FMS.