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Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement

Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement
Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement
Mind-body practices enjoy immense public and scientific interest. Yoga and meditation are highly popular. Purportedly, they foster well-being by “quieting the ego” or, more specifically, curtailing self-enhancement. However, this ego-quieting effect contradicts an apparent psychological universal, the self-centrality principle. According to this principle, practicing any skill renders it self-central, and self-centrality breeds self-enhancement. We examined those opposing predictions in the first tests of mind-body practices’ self-enhancement effects. Experiment 1 followed 93 yoga students over 15 weeks, assessing self-centrality and self-enhancement after yoga practice (yoga condition, n = 246) and without practice (control condition, n = 231). Experiment 2 followed 162 meditators over 4 weeks (meditation condition: n = 246; control condition: n = 245). Self-enhancement was higher in the yoga (Experiment 1) and meditation (Experiment 2) conditions, and those effects were mediated by greater self-centrality. Additionally, greater self-enhancement mediated mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. Evidently, neither yoga nor meditation quiet the ego; instead, they boost self-enhancement.
0956-7976
1-22
Gebauer, Jochen
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Nehrlich, A.D.
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Stahlberg, D.
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Sedikides, Constantine
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Hackenschmidt, D
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Schick, D
bf36bcd5-01c3-4b1a-8099-3f59473320ec
Stegmaie, C A
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Windfelder, C. C
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Bruk, A
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Mander, J V
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Gebauer, Jochen
ed37e5ba-19a2-4b6a-963b-a31e4704059e
Nehrlich, A.D.
9d97dfb7-5e43-4427-8a9d-2063b3f641d6
Stahlberg, D.
42be7af2-3ae9-489c-9713-53958a8b62d9
Sedikides, Constantine
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Hackenschmidt, D
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Schick, D
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Stegmaie, C A
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Windfelder, C. C
74fd1f12-615e-4eb7-8328-f7b29e0ffd89
Bruk, A
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Mander, J V
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Gebauer, Jochen, Nehrlich, A.D., Stahlberg, D., Sedikides, Constantine, Hackenschmidt, D, Schick, D, Stegmaie, C A, Windfelder, C. C, Bruk, A and Mander, J V (2018) Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement. Psychological Science, 1-22. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Mind-body practices enjoy immense public and scientific interest. Yoga and meditation are highly popular. Purportedly, they foster well-being by “quieting the ego” or, more specifically, curtailing self-enhancement. However, this ego-quieting effect contradicts an apparent psychological universal, the self-centrality principle. According to this principle, practicing any skill renders it self-central, and self-centrality breeds self-enhancement. We examined those opposing predictions in the first tests of mind-body practices’ self-enhancement effects. Experiment 1 followed 93 yoga students over 15 weeks, assessing self-centrality and self-enhancement after yoga practice (yoga condition, n = 246) and without practice (control condition, n = 231). Experiment 2 followed 162 meditators over 4 weeks (meditation condition: n = 246; control condition: n = 245). Self-enhancement was higher in the yoga (Experiment 1) and meditation (Experiment 2) conditions, and those effects were mediated by greater self-centrality. Additionally, greater self-enhancement mediated mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. Evidently, neither yoga nor meditation quiet the ego; instead, they boost self-enhancement.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 February 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420273
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420273
ISSN: 0956-7976
PURE UUID: fddff633-c628-428b-8c58-c51cfe7695de

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Date deposited: 03 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 04 May 2018 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Jochen Gebauer
Author: A.D. Nehrlich
Author: D. Stahlberg
Author: D Hackenschmidt
Author: D Schick
Author: C A Stegmaie
Author: C. C Windfelder
Author: A Bruk
Author: J V Mander

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