Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Josh Burk

Committee Member

Josh Burk

Committee Member

Cheryl Dickter

Committee Member

Adrian Bravo


Trait absorption, defined by Tellegen and Atkinson (1974) as “a disposition for having episodes of ‘total’ attention that fully engage one’s representational … resouces”, has been explored in connection to placebo response, mystical experience, religiosity, and synesthesia. However, absorption has not been explored as a predictor of psychotherapeutic outcomes. Over the course of two studies, we sought to gain an understanding of absorption’s trait-level associations, as well as its role as a predictor of social anxiety reduction after a brief mindfulness paradigm. Namely, we hypothesized that individuals higher in trait absorption would experience larger reductions in social anxiety after a brief mindfulness meditation session. When controlling for state anxiety at pre-mindfulness baseline, we did not find absorption to be a significant predictor of anxiety reduction. However, we found absorption to be associated with lower proneness toward anxiety induction during a brief speech task. We also found trait absorption to be associated with other trait-level constructs (e.g. openness to experience, anxiety, mindfulness facets) to similar degrees across two demographically distinct samples.



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