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The mediating role of openness to experience and curiosity in the relationship between mindfulness and meaning in life: evidence from four countries

Abstract

While mindfulness has been found to increase well-being, the association between mindfulness and meaning in life has received relatively little attention. The present study examined the hypothetical positive relationship between mindfulness and meaning in life alongside the mechanism underlying the relationship. Specifically, guided by the Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory, a serial mediation model testing openness to experience and curiosity as the mediators for the connection was proposed. Undergraduate student participants (N = 1267) from four countries (Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, & Taiwan) responded to a battery of tests consisting of the Mindful Awareness and Attention Scale, the Big Five Inventory Openness Scale, the Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II, and the Meaning in Life scale. Based on a correlation analysis, the four variables were positively correlated with one another in the whole sample except for the relationship between mindfulness and curiosity. Furthermore, the mediation analysis supports the positive correlation between mindfulness and the presence of meaning in life indirectly via openness and then curiosity while controlling search for meaning in life. Such pattern is consistent across the four samples. Overall, the findings offer cross-cultural evidence on the positive association between mindfulness and meaning in life and shed light on the underlying processes. Therefore, mindfulness practices have potential applications in achieving meaningful lives.

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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Correspondence to Chee-Seng Tan.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the respective institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Tan, CS., Hashim, I.H.M., Pheh, KS. et al. The mediating role of openness to experience and curiosity in the relationship between mindfulness and meaning in life: evidence from four countries. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01430-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01430-2

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Well-being
  • Personality traits
  • Cross-cultural
  • Statistical mediation
  • Young adults