Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence.

Article


Lomas, T., Edginton, Trudi, Cartwright, Tina and Ridge, Damien 2013. Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence. Psychology of Men & Masculinity. 15 (2), pp. 213-224.
AuthorsLomas, T., Edginton, Trudi, Cartwright, Tina and Ridge, Damien
Abstract

Traditional masculine norms around emotions (e.g., inexpressiveness) can mean men have difficulties managing their emotions, contributing to potential mental health problems. However, it is recognized that men and masculinities are diverse, and that some men can positively self-manage their mental health, although this has received little attention in the literature. Uniquely, we sought to find men who had discovered ways to engage constructively with their emotions, in this case through meditation. Thirty male meditators, recruited using a maximum variation sampling strategy, participated in a longitudinal mixed-method study in the UK. Participants undertook two cognitive neuroscience sessions – approximately one year apart – comprising cognitive assessments of attention, in combination with EEG measurement during task performance and meditation. In-depth narrative interviews exploring men’s experiences of meditation were also conducted at both time-points, analyzed using a modified constant comparison approach. Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative results suggested men developed attention skills through meditation, although there were variations according to previous meditation experience (e.g., a sharper longitudinal increase in theta amplitude under meditation for novice practitioners). Moreover, development of attention appeared to enhance men’s emotional intelligence, which in turn could be conducive to wellbeing. The paper has implications for psychologists working with men, pointing to the potential for teaching men about better regulating their emotions for improved wellbeing.

Keywordsalexithymia; emotional intelligence; meditation; men
JournalPsychology of Men & Masculinity
Journal citation15 (2), pp. 213-224
ISSN1939-151X
1524-9220
Year2013
PublisherAPA
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032191
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Oct 2013
Accepted23 Jun 2013
Accepted23 Jun 2013
Copyright information© The authors 2013. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
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