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01-06-2017 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 6/2017

Mindfulness 6/2017

Measuring Decentering and Related Constructs: Capacity and Limitations of Extant Assessment Scales

Mindfulness > Uitgave 6/2017
Yuval Hadash, Yael Lichtash, Amit Bernstein
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s12671-017-0743-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Decentering and related constructs reflect the capacity to shift experiential perspective—from within one’s subjective experience onto that experience. According to the metacognitive processes model of decentering, these constructs are subserved by three metacognitive processes—meta-awareness, disidentification from internal experience, and reduced reactivity to thought content. We evaluated the latent dimensional structure across multiple published self-report measures of decentering and related constructs by means of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. We then, in two studies, examined the associations between the observed latent dimensions and key criterion variables so as to better understand the metacognitive processes reflected by the observed latent dimensions. We found that the only empirically and theoretically interpretable factor solution reflected two orthogonal factors. Based on item composition (eight Drexel Defusion Scale items) and theory, we labeled factor I “Intentional Decentered Perspective”—reflecting intentional states of disidentified and non-reactive meta-awareness of mental phenomena. Associations with criterion variables such as identification with internal experience during a meta-awareness with disidentification meditation supported this interpretation. Likewise, based on item composition (Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire items) and theory, we labeled factor II “Automatic Reactivity to Thought Content.” Associations with criterion variables such as rumination, thought suppression, and judging of experience supported this interpretation. Findings highlight limitations of a number of extant self-report measures of decentering and related constructs, point to an intriguing distinction between intentional and automatic metacognitive processes in decentering, and inform the need for and development of multi-method measures of decentering.

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