Advertisement

Mindfulness

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 446–458 | Cite as

Mindfulness, Construction of Meaning, and Sustainable Food Consumption

  • Marcel Hunecke
  • Nadine RichterEmail author
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

The ecological crisis and the related consequences for societies and nature calls for a change in individual consumption behavior. Empirical evidence has shown correlations between mindfulness and ecological behavior, pointing out the potential of mindfulness to support changes in behavior toward greater sustainability. Due to its ecological impact, the field of individual food consumption constitutes a central domain in environmentally relevant behavior. However, what is presently lacking is a differentiated view on various dimensions of mindfulness and their relation to sustainable food consumption and other important predictors of ecological behavior. The present study tests hypothesized relationships between five dimensions of mindfulness, the construction of meaning in life, sustainability-related meaning, personal ecological norm, and sustainable food consumption. A cross-sectional study was conducted, which included participants with and without the experience of meditation (N = 310). Structural equation modeling shows that only the mindfulness dimension acting with awareness has a direct and weak positive relation to sustainable food consumption (β = .11, p = .04) when construction of meaning, sustainability-related contents of meaning, and personal norms are included. Further, it was seen that observing (β = .45, p < .001) and describing (β = .21, p = .004) are positively related to construction of meaning, while non-judging against expectations has a negative relationship to construction of meaning (β = −.21, p = .004). Also, a serial mediation, with construction of meaning, sustainability-related meaning, and personal norm as mediators between observing and sustainable food consumption, was tested and confirmed. The results demonstrate the value of a differentiated view on the aspects of mindfulness with regard to sustainable food consumption.

Keywords

Mindfulness Sustainability Pro-environmental behavior Construction of meaning Food consumption Vegetarianism Structural equations Personal norm 

Notes

Author Contributions

MH designed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and collaborated in writing and editing of the paper during the whole process. NR collaborated with the design and execution of the study, collected data, analyzed data, and collaborated in writing the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee of the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

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

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12671_2018_986_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 53 kb)

References

  1. Aertsens, J., Verbeke, W., Mondelaers, K., & Huylenbroeck, G. V. (2009). Personal determinants of organic food consumption: a review. British Food Journal, 111(10), 1140–1167.Google Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211.Google Scholar
  3. Allan, B. A., Bott, E. M., & Suh, H. (2015). Connecting mindfulness and meaning in life: exploring the role of authenticity. Mindfulness, 6, 996–1003.Google Scholar
  4. Amel, E. A., Manning, C. M., & Scott, B. A. (2009). Mindfulness and sustainable behavior: pondering attention and awareness as means for increasing green behavior. Ecopsychology, 1(1), 68–75.Google Scholar
  5. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., et al. (2008). Construct validity of the five-facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329–342.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Barbaro, N., & Pickett, S. M. (2016). Mindfully green: examining the effect of connectedness to nature on the relationship between mindfulness and engagement in pro-environmental behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 93, 137–142.Google Scholar
  7. Barrett, B., Grabow, M., Middlecamp, C., Mooney, M., Checovich, M. M., Converse, A. K., et al. (2016). Mindful climate action: health and environmental co-benefits from mindfulness-based behavioural training. Sustainability, 8, 1040.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., et al. (2004). Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(3), 230–241.Google Scholar
  9. BMELV (2008). Bericht des BMELV für einen aktiven Klimaschutz der Agrar-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft zur Anpassung der Agrar- und Forstwirtschaft an den Klimawandel. Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz. [Report of the BMELV for an active climate protection of the agriculture and forestry to the climate change. Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection]. Retrieved from: http://www.bmel.de/cae/servlet/contentblob/383152/publicationFile/22425/Klimaschutzbericht2008.pdf.
  10. Brown, K. W., & Kasser, T. (2005). Are psychological and ecological well-being compatible? The role of values, mindfulness, and lifestyle. Social Indicators Research, 74, 349–368.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–842.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). Mindfulness: theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquity, 18(4), 211–237.Google Scholar
  13. Brown, K. W., Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Linley, P. A., & Orzech, K. (2009). When what one has is enough: mindfulness, financial desire discrepancy and subjective well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 727–736.Google Scholar
  14. Carmody, J., Baer, R. A., Lykins, E. L. B., & Olendzki, N. (2009). An empirical study of the mechanisms of mindfulness in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, 613–626.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. De Boer, J., Schösler, H., & Boersema, J. J. (2013). Climate change and meat eating: an inconvenient couple? Journal of Environmental Psychology, 33, 1–8.Google Scholar
  16. De Bruin, E. I., Topper, M., Muskens, J. G., Bögels, S. M., & Kamphuis, J. H. (2012). Psychometric properties of the five facets mindfulness questionnaire (FFMQ) in a meditating and a non-meditating sample. Assessment, 19(2), 187–197.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ericson, T., Kjønstad, B. G., & Barstad, A. (2014). Mindfulness and sustainability. Ecological Economics, 104, 73–79.Google Scholar
  18. Fischer, D., Stanszus, L., Geiger, S., Grossmann, P., & Schrader, U. (2017). Mindfulness and sustainable consumption: a systematic literature review of research approaches and findings. Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 544–558.Google Scholar
  19. Frankl, V. (1988). The will to meaning. Foundations and applications of logotherapy. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  20. Garland, E. L., Farb, N. A., Goldin, P. R., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2015). Mindfulness broadens awareness and builds eudaimonic meaning: a process model of mindful positive emotion regulation. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 293–314.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Han, Y., & Hansen, H. (2012). Determinants of sustainable food consumption. A meta-analysis using a traditional and a structural equation modelling approach. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 4(1).Google Scholar
  22. Hayes, A.F. (2013). PROCESS: a versatile computational tool for observed variable mediation, moderation, and conditional process modeling [White paper]. Retrieved from http://www.afha-yes.com/public/process2012.pdf
  23. Hicks, J. A., & King, L. A. (2007). Meaning in life and seeing the big picture: positive affect and global focus. Cognition and Emotion, 21(7), 1577–1584.Google Scholar
  24. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1–55.Google Scholar
  25. Hunecke, M. (2013). Psychological resources for sustainable lifestyles. A report from Denkwerk Zukunft—Foundation for cultural renewal Bonn: Denkwerk Zukunft. Retrieved from http://www.denkwerkzukunft.de/downloads/reportpsycholo-gicalresources.pdf
  26. Hunecke, M. (2018). Psychology of sustainability—psychological resources for sustainable lifestyles. In O. Parodi & K. Tamm (Eds.), Personal sustainability: Exploring the far side of sustainable development (pp. 33–50). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Iani, L., Lauriola, M., Cafaro, V., & Didonna, F. (2017). Dimensions of mindfulness and their relations with psychological well-being and neuroticism. Mindfulness, 8(3), 664–676.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Jacob, J., Jovic, E., & Brinkerhoff, M. B. (2009). Personal and planetary well-being: mindfulness meditation, pro-environmental behavior and personal quality of life in a survey from the social justice and ecological sustainability movement. Social Indicators Research, 93, 275–294.Google Scholar
  29. Jacobs, T. L., Epel, E. S., Lin, J., Blackburn, E. H., Wolkowitz, O. M., Bridwell, D. A., & Saron, C. D. (2010). Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36(5), 664–681.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: the program of the stress reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts medical center. New York: Delta.Google Scholar
  31. Kiken, L. G., Garland, E. L., Blutha, K., Palssona, O. S., & Gaylord, S. A. (2015). From a state to a trait: trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during intervention predict changes in trait mindfulness. Personality and Individual Differences, 81, 41–46.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. King, L. A., Hicks, J. A., Krull, J. L., & Del Gaiso, A. K. (2006). Positive affect and the experience of meaning in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(1), 179–196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Maxwell, S. E., & Cole, D. A. (2007). Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12(1), 23–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Mayer, F. S., & Fratz, M. C. (2004). The connectedness to nature scale: a measure of individuals’ feeling in community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(4), 503–515.Google Scholar
  35. McAdams, D. P. (2012). Meaning and personality. In P. T. B. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning. Theories, research and applications (pp. 107–123). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Michalak, J., Zarbock, G., Drews, M., Otto, D., Mertens, D., Ströhle, G., et al. (2016). Erfassung von Achtsamkeit mit der deutschen Version des Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaires (FFMQ-D). [Assessment of mindfulness with the german version of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire (FFMQ-D)]. Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie, 24(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  37. Panno, A., Giacomantonio, M., Carrus, G., Maricchiolo, F., Pirchio, S., & Mannetti, L. (2018). Mindfulness, pro-environmental behavior, and belief in climate change: the mediating role of social dominance. Environment and Behavior.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916517718887.
  38. Papies, E. K., Barsalou, L. W., & Custers, R. (2012). Mindful attention prevents mindless impulses. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(3), 291–299.Google Scholar
  39. Pearson, M. R., Brown, D. B., Bravo, A. J., & Witkiewitz, K. (2015). Staying in the moment and finding purpose: the associations of trait mindfulness, decentering, and purpose in life with depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and alcohol-related problems. Mindfulness, 6(3), 645–653.Google Scholar
  40. Reisch, L., Eberle, U., & Lorek, S. (2013). Sustainable food consumption: an overview of contemporary issues and policies. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 9(2), 7–25.Google Scholar
  41. Rosenberg, E. L. (2004). Mindfulness and consumerism. In T. Kasser & A. D. Kanner (Eds.), Psychology and consumer culture. The struggle for a good life in a materialistic world (pp. 107–126). Washington: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  42. Schnell, T. (2010). Existential indifference: another quality of meaning in life. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50(3), 351–373.Google Scholar
  43. Schnell, T. (2011). Individual differences in meaning-making: considering the variety of sources of meaning, their density and diversity. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 667–673.Google Scholar
  44. Schnell, T. (2016). Psychologie des Lebenssinns. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  45. Schwartz, S. H. (1977). Normative influences on altruism. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 221–279.Google Scholar
  46. Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freeman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 373–386.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Sheth, J. N., Sethia, N. K., & Srinivas. (2011). Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39, 21–39.Google Scholar
  48. Siegling, A. B., & Petrides, K. V. (2014). Measures of trait mindfulness: convergent validity, shared dimensionality, and linkages to the five-factor model. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1164.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  49. Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2009). Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: an integrative review and research agenda. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20(3), 309–317.Google Scholar
  50. Steger, M. F., & Frazier, P. (2005). Meaning in life: one link in the chain from religiousness to well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), 574–582.Google Scholar
  51. Steger, M. F., Frazier, P., Oishi, & Kaler, M. (2006). The meaning in life questionnaire: assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 53(1), 80–93.Google Scholar
  52. Steger, M. F., Kashdan, T. B., Sullivan, B. A., & Lorentz, D. (2008). Understanding the search for meaning in life: personality, cognitive style, and the dynamic between seeking and experiencing meaning. Journal of Personality, 76(2), 199–228.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Stern, P. C., Dietz, T., Abel, T., Guagnano, G. A., & Kalof, L. (1999). A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: the case of environmentalism. Human Ecology Review, 6(2), 81–97.Google Scholar
  54. Tarkiainen, A., & Sundqvist, S. (2005). Subjective norms, attitudes and intentions of Finnish consumers in buying organic food. British Food Journal, 107(11), 808–822.Google Scholar
  55. Unanue, W., Vignoles, V. L., Dittmar, H., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2016). Life goals predict environmental behavior: cross-cultural and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 46, 10–22.Google Scholar
  56. Unsworth, S., Palicki, S. K., & Lustig, J. (2016). The impact of mindful meditation in nature on self-nature interconnectedness. Mindfulness, 7(5), 1052–1060.Google Scholar
  57. VEBU (2016). Anzahl der Veganer und Vegetarier in Deutschland. [Number of vegans and vegetarians in Germany]. Retrieved from https://vebu.de/veggie-fakten/entwicklung-in-zahlen/anzahl-veganer-und-vegetarier-in-deutschland
  58. Vermeulen, S. J., Campbell, B. M., & Ingram, J. S. I. (2012). Climate change and food systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 37, 195–222.Google Scholar
  59. von Koerber, K., Bader, N., & Leitzmann, C. (2016). Wholesome nutrition: an example for a sustainable diet. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 12th European Nutrition Conference, FENS, held at the Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin on 20–23 October 2015.Google Scholar
  60. Walach, H., Buchheld, N., Buttenmüller, V., Kleinknecht, N., & Schmidt, S. (2006). Measuring mindfulness—the Freiburg mindfulness inventory (FMI). Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1543–1555.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Social SciencesUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts DortmundDortmundGermany

Personalised recommendations