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A Psychology Of Peace: Development Of A Transcendent Ontological Worldview

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Title:A Psychology Of Peace: Development Of A Transcendent Ontological Worldview
Authors:James, Steven Paul
Contributors:Educational Psychology (department)
intrinsic values
personal growth
post-traumatic growth
show 1 moretranscendence
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Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Transcendence is often thought of as a topic exclusive to religion and theology, but there is a considerable amount of psychological research into self-transcendence as a beneficial state of being. Those who display a transcendent ontology tend to possess increased empathy, intrinsic self-worth, humility, self-confidence, connectedness, and present-moment living; traits necessary for a peace-driven life. Despite millennia of writings on this topic and recent studies, no known research has attempted to unravel the self-transcendence developmental process. This study offers new theory to explain transcendence development. Self-transcendence is defined here as the perception of oneself as intimately and inseparably connected to the greater whole of humanity, nature, and the cosmos. This theory was tested using 167 adolescent participants who accomplished eight self-report inventories across two waves. These inventories measured three key constructs of self-transcendence, intrinsic self-esteem, and present-time orientation, along with outcome variables of empathy and narcissism. This research addressed the question of whether direct educational intervention could impact transcendence development within adolescents. A six-week transcendence development course was designed and given to three groups of students over three years. SEM models were partially validated. Self-transcendence was impacted by intrinsic, but not extrinsic, self-esteem, however, present-time orientation acted only as a moderator to an unanticipated variable in the development process. Self-engagement, understood as a self-actualization measure, appeared to mediate between intrinsic self-esteem and self-transcendence. Validating the effect of the course, a significant relationship was found between self-transcendence and course participation. Significant correlations with the model were found for empathy, social confidence, family education, and GPA. These quantitative results, along with qualitative interviews, suggested three types of individuals within the sample, one self-transcending and two impeded types. All three types conformed to outcomes seen in research on conditional parental regard, as well as self-theories of intelligence. The data suggest that families and communities ought to encourage intrinsic growth within individuals, while limiting expectations for success and conformity. Even with intrinsic valuations, individuals must engender positive self-narratives to actualize intrinsic strengths. Understanding the construction of this development process provides avenues to promote self-transcendence through education, inculcating beneficial and pro-social outcomes for peace-driven societies.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Educational Psychology

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