10-12-2019 | COMMENTARY
How Would the Buddha Rate on Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale?
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 2/2020Log in om toegang te krijgen
In a recent study, Gebauer et al. addressed a fundamental question regarding the effects of mind-body practices (MBPs) on the self. Does the practice of MBPs in accordance with traditional contemplative traditions quiet the ego or is the practice of MBPs associated with increased self-centrality, which breeds self-enhancement bias? Both hypotheses were investigated in two separate studies with a longitudinal design. Study 1 included 93 participants, who regularly practiced yoga, and study 2 contained 162 participants, who regularly practiced loving-kindness meditation. In both studies, trait questionnaires of self-centrality and self-enhancement were taken after the practice of yoga (over the course of 15 weeks) or meditation (over the course of 4 weeks). Findings from both studies showed that participants scored higher on measures of self-enhancement and self-centrality after practicing yoga and meditation as compared with not practicing yoga and meditation. Based on these findings, Gebauer et al. argued that MBPs such as yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead lead to self-enhancement bias through increased self-centrality. We have concerns about the far-reaching conclusions made by Gebauer et al. regarding the effects of MBPs on the self. The key concerns refer to the conceptualization of the quiet ego and to the assessment of the psychological constructs investigated in this study. Gebauer et al. addressed a timely and important research question, but their far-reaching interpretations should be reconsidered due to conceptual and methodological ambiguities.