Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Kirk Brown

Second Advisor

David Chester

Third Advisor

James Bjork


Self-concept is strongly influenced by beliefs about one’s personal psychological attributes, and these beliefs are held with varying degrees of confidence and consequence. Hence, it is investment in self-views of those attributes that helps to regulate and maintain stable self-concept. Self-view investment is relevant to numerous self-related functions, but high self-view investment can also contribute to maladaptive self-views. Theory suggests that mindfulness cultivates a less personal, more objective perception of one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and training in mindfulness has been shown to alter self-referential processing. The current pilot study (N=21) investigates the possible role of dispositional mindfulness in two forms of self-view investment, epistemic certainty and emotive importance, as indicated by self-reported and neural (functional magnetic resonance imaging-based) indicators of investment. Results indicated that dispositional mindfulness was positively associated with self-reported epistemic certainty but not emotive importance. Trait mindfulness was associated with activity in the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus during judgements of both epistemic certainty and emotive importance. Caudate activity was positively associated with trait mindfulness specifically for judgements of emotive importance.


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