Measuring Decentering and Related Constructs: Capacity and Limitations of Extant Assessment Scales

Yuval Hadash, Yael Lichtash, Amit Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decentering and related constructs reflect the capacity to shift experiential perspective—from within one’s subjective experience onto that experience. According to the metacognitive processes model of decentering, these constructs are subserved by three metacognitive processes—meta-awareness, disidentification from internal experience, and reduced reactivity to thought content. We evaluated the latent dimensional structure across multiple published self-report measures of decentering and related constructs by means of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. We then, in two studies, examined the associations between the observed latent dimensions and key criterion variables so as to better understand the metacognitive processes reflected by the observed latent dimensions. We found that the only empirically and theoretically interpretable factor solution reflected two orthogonal factors. Based on item composition (eight Drexel Defusion Scale items) and theory, we labeled factor I “Intentional Decentered Perspective”—reflecting intentional states of disidentified and non-reactive meta-awareness of mental phenomena. Associations with criterion variables such as identification with internal experience during a meta-awareness with disidentification meditation supported this interpretation. Likewise, based on item composition (Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire items) and theory, we labeled factor II “Automatic Reactivity to Thought Content.” Associations with criterion variables such as rumination, thought suppression, and judging of experience supported this interpretation. Findings highlight limitations of a number of extant self-report measures of decentering and related constructs, point to an intriguing distinction between intentional and automatic metacognitive processes in decentering, and inform the need for and development of multi-method measures of decentering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1688
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements Dr. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 1136/2011), Israeli Council for Higher Education YigalAlon Fellowship, and the European Union FP-7 Marie Curie Fellowship International Reintegration Grant. Mr. Hadash recognizes the support from the University of Haifa President’s Doctoral Fellowship Program. Amit Bernstein and graduate students Yael Lichtash and Yuval Hadash designed the studies, analyzed the data, and worked on the manuscript. We want to thank research assistants Karin Levi and Adi Ohayon for their help in carrying out the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • (Dis)identification
  • (Non)reactivity
  • Cognitive (de)fusion
  • Decentering
  • Meta-awareness
  • Mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring Decentering and Related Constructs: Capacity and Limitations of Extant Assessment Scales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this