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My Life Direction is Changing (or Not): Network Analysis of

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Alex Norman

on 20 September 2017

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Transcript of My Life Direction is Changing (or Not): Network Analysis of

My Life Direction is Changing (or Not):
Network Analysis of World View and Personal Goal Shifts During the Course of an Intensive Meditation Retreat

Alex Norman, PhD & Jen Pokorny, PhD
Purpose
To examine potential changes in one’s worldview, approach to life, goals, and priorities over the course of an intensive meditation retreat (Shamatha Project retreat)
The Shamatha Project
Interviews
1. What is it like to meditate for so many hours

2. Experience of retreat – physical or psychological
challenges, emotional highs or lows

3. Transformation from meditation; Family and friends notice
difference

4. Alan as a teacher; Overall living situation/ accommodations

5. Scientific aspect of the retreat

6. Perspectives on, approach to, life; goals & priorities

*7. Miss retreat, meditation

*8. Challenges returning to daily life
Specific focus:
Approach to life & worldview,
goals & priorities
Approach
: how one interacts with the world
Blending Qualitative &
Quantitative Methods
Example of the Coding & Network Creation Process: Open codes
Codes do not overlap, so have a directional relationship:

give freely -> experience 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows
give freely
experience 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows
seek out the heart of the universe
failure of language
experience 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows -> seek out the heart of the universe
seek out the heart of the universe <-> failure of language

Codes overlap, so have a bi-directional relationship
What do participants talk about
while on retreat?
Describe your current perspective on and approach to life, including goals and priorities
Follow up prompt: What’s your top priority?
Describe your current perspective on and approach to life, including goals and priorities
Follow up prompt: What’s your top priority?
Describe your current perspective on and approach to life, including goals and priorities
Follow up prompt: What’s your top priority?
Do participants' goals and priorities change?
Conclusions & Future Directions
Worldview
: how one views the world
Open code network

Participant 'A'

Time point: Early
same participant's subject code network
(what they were talking
about
)
participant's open code network
(what they said)
Q6. How would you describe, or summarize, your current perspective on and approach to life, including your goals, priorities, and everyday activities?

Follow up prompt: What’s most important to you? What’s your top priority in life?
Subject code network

Participant 'A'

Time point: Early
Theme code network

Participant 'A'

Time point: Early
Early
Mid
Late
A method for visually depicting qualitative data and analysis.
* Also, a valuable tool for conducting analysis of qualitative data
* Retains uniqueness and granularity while simultaneously showing group trends
* Able to extract metrics from the networks (centrality / importance) to use with other measures
Preliminary findings that strongly indicate no change in approach, world view, goals, or priorities during retreat.
Context matters:
* 6/30 participants
* Meditation experience
* Demographics
* Historical factors (pre-GFC)
same participant's theme code network
(overarching themes)
This cartography charts the territory of the departure point for our longitudinal study of Shamatha Project participants.
* allows us to contextually map approach, worldview, goals, and priorities over 7 years
Early
Mid
Late
Goals/Priorities don't change
Increased focus/integration of practice at home
Retirement
Wealth facilitates practice
Goals/Priorities don't change
Retirement
Increased focus/integration of practice at home
Wealth facilitates practice
Open -> Subject -> Theme
what they said, in vivo what they talked about research & data driven topics

Shambhala Mountain Center (CO)
Alan Wallace
Shamatha (focused attention)
Four Immeasurables
cognition, attention, emotional response & regulation
EEG, ANS, behavioral, biomarkers
questionnaires, daily diaries
interviews
2 3-month retreats in 2007
30 participants in each - randomly assigned, matched demographics
Retreat 2 participants were control participants in Retreat 1
Assessed at 3 time points during retreat (& 3 time points after retreat)

Credits to our Team:
Davis Investigators
Emilio Ferrer, Ph.D.
Ron Mangun, Ph.D.
Karen Bales, Ph.D
Erika Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Phil Shaver, Ph.D.
Baljinder Sahdra, Ph.D. (ACU Sydney)
Alan Wallace, Ph.D. (SBI)

Davis Scientific Trainees
Stephen Aichele, PhD (U. Geneva)
David Bridwell, PhD (MIND Inst., NM)
Quinn Conklin
Hirokata Fukushima, Ph.D. (Osaka, JP)
Anahita Hamadi, MA
Alea Skwara
Tonya Jacobs, Ph.D.
Brandon King, MA
Shiri Lavy, Ph.D. (Ariel U, IL)
Kezia Wineberg
Sarah Huffman
Katherine MacLean, Ph.D.
Chivon Powers, Ph.D.
Tony Zanesco, MA
Manish Saggar, Ph.D. (Stanford)
Rachael Whitworth, MA

Fearless leader
Clifford Saron, Ph.D.

John Templeton Foundation (2013-2016)
Fetzer Institute (2006-2013)
Hershey Family Foundation (2006-2012)
Our Generous Funders and Sponsors
National Science Foundation
Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies
Shambhala Mountain Center
Tan Teo Charitable Foundation
Baumann Foundation
Yoga Research and Education Foundation
Tom and Nancy Driscoll
Mental Insight Foundation
Mind and Life Institute
Grant Couch and Louise Pearson
Caroline Zecca-Ferris
Individual and Anonymous Donors
Consulting Scientists and Other Co-Investigators
Beth Adelson, Ph.D. (Rutgers)
John JB Allen, Ph.D. (U Arizona)
Ruth Baer, Ph.D. (U Kentucky)
Susan Bauer-Wu, Ph.D. (UVA)
Liz Blackburn, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Barry Giesbrecht, Ph.D. (UCSB)
Richard Davidson, Ph.D. (UW Madison)
Mingzhou Ding, Ph.D. (U Florida Gainsville)
Ezequiel Di Paolo, Ph.D. (U of Basque Region, SP)
Firdaus Dhabhar, Ph.D. (Stanford)
Paul Ekman, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Elissa Epel, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Igor Grossman, Ph.D. (U. Waterloo CA)
Paul Grossman, Ph.D. (U. Basel Hospital, CH)
Amishi Jha, Ph.D. (U Miami)
Jue Lin, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Margaret Kemeny, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Antoine Lutz, Ph.D. (UNRS INSERM, Lyon)
Synthia Mellon, Ph.D. (UCSF)
Charles Raison, Ph.D. (U Arizona)
Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D. (Sechen Monastery, NP)
Jonathan Schooler, Ph.D. (UCSB)
Jonathan Smallwood, Ph.D. (UCSB)
Akaysha Tang, Ph.D. (UNM)
Ewa Wojciulik, Ph.D. (Vanier Coll, QC)
Owen Wolkowitz, M.D. (UCSF)

Numerous Undergrad RAs over the years


longitudinal study to assess the effects of intensive meditation training
Full transcript