Brief Quiet Ego Contemplation and Eudaimonic Motivation
This study investigated the effect of a quiet ego contemplation exercise, as used in Wayment, Collier, Birkett, Traustadóttir and Till (2015) on college students eudaimonic motivation and quiet ego scores.
According to Martin Seligman (2002), a leading figure in positive psychology, “Psychology is not just the study of disease, weakness and damage, it is also the study of strength and virtue” (p. 4). The concept of eudaimonia has received increasing recognition as positive psychology has shifted away from rudimentary measures of wellbeing (Kristjánsson, 2013). Aristotle defines eudaimonia as a durable way of life that leads to flourishing, achieved by pursuing virtue. A new concept in positive psychology that adopts this eudaimonic perspective is the Quiet Ego, a term describing a self-identity which promotes balance, humility and eudaimonic growth (Wayment, Bauer & Sylaska, 2015). The quiet ego is a broad term representing a large range of research on the psychological benefits of transcending excessive self-interest (Wayment & Bauer, 2008). The quiet ego is comprised of four cardinal characteristics, detached awareness, inclusive identity, perspective taking and growth mindset.The quiet ego adopts a eudaimonic perspective of wellbeing (Wayment et al., 2015a), deriving pleasure from virtue and meaningful action. This study assesses the impact of contemplating the four quiet ego statistics on a scale measuring eudaimonic motivation.
College students (N=66) were split into a control group and treatment group. Eudaimonic motivation was measured on the revised Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives for Activities scale (Huta, 2016) and quiet ego scores were measured using the Quiet Ego Scale (Wayment et al., 2015). Both scales were issued before and after the intervention. A significant difference (p <.001) was observed in student’s eudaimonic motivation after completing the quiet ego contemplation exercise, but no significant difference was observed on quiet ego scores.