Clarifying the relationship between trait mindfulness and objective performance
The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between trait mindfulness and four indicators of individual objective performance (accuracy, reaction time, variability in reaction times, and detection of unexpected stimuli), and the moderating role of task complexity. Moreover, we want to find out whether this relationship is maintained or variance is added when we consider intelligence and two personality variables (conscientiousness and neuroticism) that are also associated with performance. To achieve our goal, we conducted a study in a laboratory setting and employed software (E-prime 2.0) to recode the objective indicators of performance on a Stroop task (Stroop 1935). The present study results show that self-reported rating of dispositional mindfulness measured with MAAS (Brown & Ryan, 2003) are not congruent with objective performance indicators (accuracy, reaction time, variability in reaction times), except for the detection of unexpected stimuli. We also confirmed the important role of intelligence in performance outcomes and we also found that task complexity was not playing a moderator role in the relationship between mindfulness and objective performance.
Steps to reproduce
All the variables were screened for missing data and distributional assumptions prior to analysis. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were carried out to test the factorial structure of the mindfulness scale and the two personality dimensions using Mplus version 8 (Muthén and Muthén 1998-2012) and WLSMV estimation. To test our hypotheses, we performed hierarchical multiple regression analyses in SPSS (version 24), first entering the demographic control variables (age, gender, specialization, and familiarity with the tasks), and then entering the two personality variables (conscientiousness and neuroticism), intelligence, and, finally, trait mindfulness. Our correlational and regression analyses seemed to indicate that intelligence was the most relevant variable, and so we decided to check the same hypotheses by introducing the variables in a different order: step 1: age, gender, specialization, and familiarity; step 2: mindfulness; step 3: the two personality variables (conscientiousness and neuroticism); step 4: intelligence.