Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 284–299 | Cite as

Mindfulness as a moderator of the effect of implicit motivational self-concept on day-to-day behavioral motivation

  • Chantal LevesqueEmail author
  • Kirk Warren Brown
Original Paper


Drawing from theories regarding the role of awareness in behavioral self-regulation, this research was designed to examine the role of mindfulness as a moderator between implicit motivation and the motivation for day-to-day behavior. We hypothesized that dispositional mindfulness (Brown and Ryan, J Pers Soc Psychol, 84, 822–848, 2003) would act to modify the expression of implicit autonomy orientation in daily behavioral motivation. Using the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald et al. J Pers Soc Psychol, 74, 1464–1480, 1998), Study 1 provided evidence for the reliability and validity of a new measure of implicit autonomy orientation. Using an experience-sampling strategy, Study 2 showed the hypothesized moderating effect, such that implicit autonomy orientation predicted day-to-day motivation only for those lower in dispositional mindfulness. Those higher in mindfulness showed more autonomously motivated behavior regardless of implicit orientation toward autonomy or heteronomy. It also showed that this moderating effect of awareness was specific to mindfulness and was primarily manifest in spontaneous behavior. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for dual process theory and research.


Implicit motivation Autonomy Mindfulness Self-determination theory Implicit Association Test 



This research was facilitated by a grant from the Positive Psychology Summer Institute and a Missouri State University Summer Faculty Fellowship to Chantal Levesque. We thank La Toya McQuater, Chris Niemiec, and Layla Stanek for research assistance, and Michaela Hynie, Harry Reis, and members of the University of Rochester Motivation Research Group for helpful comments on a draft of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  2. 2.University of RochesterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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