SNSF Project „Mindfulness and character strengths“

In the field of positive psychology, mindfulness and character strengths have gained much attention in research because of individual beneficial effects. However, not much literature has been published about their integration and potential synergetic effects.

The main aim of the first two studies of the current project is to narrow a gap in the literature by proposing a mutual support model of mindfulness and character strengths. Study 1 was conducted to propose and improve the mutual support model by comprehensively investigating the interconnections between mindfulness and character strengths using instruments of high bandwidth. Study 2 is designed to test the mutual support model: whether an 8-week mindfulness training enhances selected character strengths; whether integrating character strengths into an 8-week mindfulness intervention helps participants better understand and acquire mindfulness in comparison to the usual mindfulness intervention; and whether an integrated intervention (utilizing both mindfulness and character strengths) are more effective in a work setting in comparison to the usual mindfulness intervention (only utilizing mindfulness, but not character strengths) and a wait list control group.

In addition, the mechanism of the emotion regulation of mindfulness practice will be investigated from a new perspective. An innovative objective measurement – Facial Action Coding System (FACS; Ekman Friesen, & Hager, 2002) will be used in Study 3 to examine how meditators’ facial responses differ from non-meditators, when they are both elicited by the target emotions (amusement & disgust). The results of the current project are expected to contribute to the current literature in the research filed of mindfulness and character strengths, as well as provide new perspectives for practical applications (e.g., for organizations).