Dialectical thinking and meaning-making in negative experiences
Three studies were conducted to examine how dialectical thinking may contribute to meaning-making in negative experiences (MINE) tendencies and subsequently to people’s coping styles as they confront stressful situations. We examined dialectical thinking in two ways: (1) by comparing two cultural groups—Chinese and Euro-Canadians—that are well known to differ in dialectical thinking styles, and (2) by manipulating dialectical thinking in a single culture. Using a nine-item MINE scale with established measurement invariance across both cultures, we found that dialectical Chinese were more likely than non-dialectical Euro-Canadians to engage in meaning-making in negative experiences and to adopt acceptance and positive reframing coping styles (Study 1 and 2). Study 3 further demonstrated the causal effect of dialectical thinking on individuals’ tendency to engage in meaning-making in negative experiences by manipulating Euro-Canadians’ dialectical thinking. Compared to participants in the control condition, participants primed with dialectical thinking reported a higher tendency to engage in meaning-making in negative experiences and to adopt acceptance and positive reframing coping styles. The current research highlights the importance of the role of dialectical thinking in individuals’ tendency to engage in meaning-making in negative experiences and coping.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/26493
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