As is true of any self-report instrument, respondents can consciously distort their response to the scale if they are motivated to do so.
The trait MAAS is a 15-item scale designed to assess a core characteristic of mindfulness, namely, a receptive state of mind in which attention, informed by a sensitive awareness of what is occurring in the present, simply observes what is taking place. This is in contrast to the conceptually driven mode of processing, in which events and experiences are filtered through cognitive appraisals, evaluations, memories, beliefs, and other forms of cognitive manipulation. Across many studies conducted since 2003, the trait MAAS has shown excellent psychometric properties. Factor analyses with undergraduate, community and nationally sampled adult, and adult cancer populations have confirmed a single factor scale structure (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Carlson & Brown, 2005). Internal consistency levels (Cronbach’s alphas) generally range from .80 to .90. The MAAS has demonstrated high test-retest reliability, discriminant and convergent validity, known-groups validity, and criterion validity. Correlational, quasi-experimental, and experimental studies have show that the trait MAAS taps a unique quality of consciousness that is related to, and predictive of, a variety of emotion regulation, behavior regulation, interpersonal, and well-being phenomena. The measure takes 5 minutes or less to complete.