Heart of Joy: a randomized controlled trail evaluating the effect of an appreciative joy meditation training on subjective well-being and attitudes

Zeng, Xianglong, Wang, Rong, Oei, Tian P.S., and Leung, Freedom Y.K. (2019) Heart of Joy: a randomized controlled trail evaluating the effect of an appreciative joy meditation training on subjective well-being and attitudes. Mindfulness, 10 (3). pp. 506-515.

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Abstract

Many studies support the beneficial effects of the "four immeasurable meditations" (FIM) that originate from Buddhism, but most psychological interventions adopt FIM that cultivate loving-kindness and compassion. The current study developed and evaluated a 4-week training program named "Heart of Joy" (HOJ) that is based on FIM that cultivate appreciative joy. Participants were randomly assigned to HOJ training (n = 59) or a wait-list condition (n = 42), and the final sample consisted of 41 participants in each condition. Satisfaction with life, appreciative joy, envy, emotions, and attitudes toward oneself and others were measured at pre-training, at post-training, and at a 1-month follow-up. The time × condition (M)ANOVA showed that HOJ participants had significantly higher low-arousal positive emotions and lower high-arousal and low-arousal negative emotions at both the post-training and follow-up assessments, as well as higher medium-arousal positive emotions at the post-training assessment only. HOJ participants also reported significantly higher life satisfaction at both the post-training and follow-up assessments and significantly lower envy at the follow-up assessment. The results had a medium effect size (Cohen’s d values ranging from 0.52 to 0.69). Appreciative joy, all attitudes, high-arousal positive emotions, and medium-arousal negative emotions did not show significant results. Further investigations revealed that changes in appreciative joy were more closely associated with changes in high-arousal than low-arousal positive emotions, and changes in envy were more closely associated with changes in attitudes toward oneself than attitudes toward others; this outcome indicates that appreciative joy and envy were impacted during this intervention. This study suggests that HOJ is a promising training program to improve subjective well-being and envy, and the implications for research were discussed.

Item ID: 61493
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1868-8535
Keywords: Appreciative joy, Buddhism, Envy, Loving-kindness meditation, Sympathetic joy
Copyright Information: © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 01:57
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 100%
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