The effect of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions: a meta-analytic review

Zeng, Xianglong, Chiu, Cleo P. K., Wang, Rong, Oei, Tian P. S. and Leung, Freedom Y. K. (2015) The effect of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions: a meta-analytic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 NOV: 1693.1-1693.14. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01693


Author Zeng, Xianglong
Chiu, Cleo P. K.
Wang, Rong
Oei, Tian P. S.
Leung, Freedom Y. K.
Title The effect of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions: a meta-analytic review
Journal name Frontiers in Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1664-1078
Publication date 2015-11-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01693
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue NOV
Start page 1693.1
End page 1693.14
Total pages 14
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract While it has been suggested that loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is an effective practice for promoting positive emotions, the empirical evidence in the literature remains unclear. Here, we provide a systematic review of 24 empirical studies (N = 1759) on LKM with self-reported positive emotions. The effect of LKM on positive emotions was estimated with meta-analysis, and the influence of variations across LKM interventions was further explored with subgroup analysis and meta-regression. The meta-analysis showed that (1) medium effect sizes for LKM interventions on daily positive emotions in both wait-list controlled RCTs and non-RCT studies; and (2) small to large effect sizes for the on-going practice of LKM on immediate positive emotions across different comparisons. Further analysis showed that (1) interventions focused on loving-kindness had medium effect size, but interventions focused on compassion showed small effect sizes; (2) the length of interventions and the time spent on meditation did not influence the effect sizes, but the studies without didactic components in interventions had small effect sizes. A few individual studies reported that the nature of positive emotions and individual differences also influenced the results. In sum, LKM practice and interventions are effective in enhancing positive emotions, but more studies are needed to identify the active components of the interventions, to compare different psychological operations, and to explore the applicability in clinical populations.
Keyword Positive emotion
Loving-kindness
Compassion
Buddhism
Meditation
Four immeasurables
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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