Metacognition of intentions in mindfulness and hypnosis

Lush, Peter, Naish, Peter and Dienes, Zoltan (2016) Metacognition of intentions in mindfulness and hypnosis. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2016 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2057-2107

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In a famous series of experiments, Libet investigated the subjective timing of awareness of an intention to move, a task that can be considered a metacognitive judgement. The ability to strategically produce inaccurate metacognitions about intentions has been postulated to be central to the changes in judgements of agency common to all hypnotic responding. Therefore, differences in hypnotisability may be reflected in Libet’s measure. Specifically, the ability to sustain inaccurate judgements of agency displayed by highly hypnotisable people may result from their having coarser higher order representations of intentions. They therefore should report a delayed time of intention relative to less hypnotisable individuals. Conversely, mindfulness practice aims at accurate metacognition, including of intentions, and may lead to the development of finer grained higher order representations of intending. Thus, the long-term practice of mindfulness may produce an earlier judgement of the time of an intention. We tested these groups using Libet’s task, and found that, consistent with predictions, highly hypnotisable people reported a later time of intention than less hypnotisable people and meditators an earlier time than non-meditators. In a further two studies we replicated the finding that hypnotisable people report later awareness of a motor intention and additionally found a negative relationship between trait mindfulness and this measure. Based on these findings, we argue that hypnotic response and meditation involve opposite processes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: sense of agency, judgements of agency, Libet, hypnosis, mindfulness, meditation
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 14:08
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2019 13:01

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