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

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.