"Examining Interpersonal Self-Transcendence as a Potential Mechanism Linking Meditation and Social Outcomes." Current Opinion in Psychology, 2019.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Yoona Kang

Distinct types of meditation practice addressed in this review can help cultivate skills people may bring to later social interactions. We examine self-transcendence, or the drive to benefit others beyond the self, as a key mechanism through which meditation may promote positive social outcomes. Self-transcendence cultivated through various styles of meditation can impact social outcomes through two main pathways: First, self-transcendence can turn rigid, defensive self-focus into flexible and receptive self-construals. Second, it can increase positive other-focus by integrating reward and social signals in the brain. These accounts offer one practical solution of positively transforming social relations and highlight potential usefulness of considering self-transcendence in researching social effects of meditation.