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self-transcendence Observation Scale

The self-transcendence Observation Scale (STOS) is a tool that measures the degree to which a person experiences a sense of connection with something larger than oneself, such as nature, humanity, or a higher power. self-transcendence is considered to be a positive psychological construct that can enhance wellbeing, meaning, and purpose in life. However, there is a lack of valid and reliable instruments to assess self-transcendence in a direct and observable way. The STOS was developed to fill this gap by using behavioural indicators of self-transcendence that can be observed by trained raters. In this article, we describe the theoretical background, development process, and psychometric properties of the STOS. We also discuss its applications and implications for research and practice in various fields, such as health care, education, and spirituality.

What is self-transcendence, and why is it important?

self-transcendence is a concept that refers to the expansion of personal boundaries and the connection to something greater than oneself. It can be understood as the overcoming of the limits of the individual self and its desires in spiritual contemplation and realization. self-transcendence is important because it can help people achieve a higher level of wellbeing, meaning, and purpose in life. It can also foster a sense of awe, wonder, and gratitude for the beauty and complexity of the universe. self-transcendence can be achieved through various practices, such as meditation, prayer, art, music, nature, service, or altruism. These practices can help people transcend their ego and identify with a larger reality that transcends their personal concerns.

What are the main theories and models of self-transcendence?

There are different theories and models that explain self-transcendence from various perspectives. Some of the main ones are:

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Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs: According to Maslow, self-transcendence is the highest level of human motivation, above Self-actualization. It involves transcending the ego and serving a higher purpose or cause that benefits humanity or the world.

Reed’s theory of self-transcendence: Reed proposed that self-transcendence is a response to vulnerability, which can arise from ageing, illness, or death awareness. self-transcendence enables individuals to cope with vulnerability by expanding their boundaries of self and finding new sources of hope and meaning.

Cloninger’s personality model: Cloninger identified self-transcendence as one of the three character dimensions of personality, along with self-directedness and cooperativeness. self-transcendence reflects the degree to which individuals experience spiritual aspects of themselves, such as unity, transcendence, and sacredness.

Frankl’s logotherapy: Frankl argued that self-transcendence is the essence of human existence and the primary source of meaning in life. He defined self-transcendence as the ability to detach oneself from one’s situation and take a wider perspective that includes other values, goals, and people.

What are the challenges and limitations of measuring self-transcendence?

self-transcendence can be measured by various psychological instruments, such as the self-transcendence Scale, the Adult self-transcendence Inventory, and the Temperament and Character Inventory.

However, measuring self-transcendence is not without challenges and limitations. Some of the difficulties include:

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  • Defining self-transcendence in a clear and consistent way across different disciplines and cultures.
  • Operationalizing self-transcendence in terms of observable and quantifiable behaviours and outcomes.
  • Distinguishing self-transcendence from other related constructs, such as Self-actualization, spirituality, religiosity, mysticism, altruism, and wisdom.
  • Addressing the potential biases and confounds in self-report measures of self-transcendence, such as social desirability, response styles, and cultural differences.
  • Validating the measures of self-transcendence against external criteria, such as physiological indicators, behavioural observations, and life outcomes.
  • Exploring the causal mechanisms and developmental pathways of self-transcendence, such as genetic factors, environmental influences, personality traits, cognitive processes, and existential experiences.

These challenges and limitations suggest that measuring self-transcendence is a complex and multidimensional task that requires further research and refinement. However, despite these difficulties, measuring self-transcendence can also offer valuable insights into human nature and potential, as well as implications for enhancing wellbeing, meaning, and social harmony.

What is the self-transcendence Observation Scale, and how was it developed?

The self-transcendence Observation Scale (STOS) is a tool that measures the degree of self-transcendence in individuals. self-transcendence is the ability to expand personal boundaries in multiple ways, such as inwardly, outwardly, and temporally. It is considered a positive trait that enhances wellbeing and maturity. The STOS was developed by Pamela Reed, a nursing theorist who proposed a theory of self-transcendence based on empirical research and philosophical insights. The STOS consists of 12 items that are rated on a 5-point Likert scale. The items reflect the four dimensions of self-transcendence: interpersonal, intrapersonal, transpersonal, and temporal. The STOS has been validated in various populations, such as nursing home patients, cancer survivors, and adolescents. The STOS can be used for research, education, and clinical purposes to assess and promote self-transcendence as a resource for health and wellbeing.

What are the main features and dimensions of the self-transcendence Observation Scale?

The STOS consists of 12 items that are rated on a 5-point Likert scale by an observer who knows the person well. The items cover four domains of self-transcendence: altruism, spirituality, awareness, and acceptance.

The STOS differs from other self-transcendence measures in several ways. First, it is an observer-rated scale, whereas most other measures are self-report questionnaires. This reduces the potential for social desirability bias and self-deception that may affect self-report measures. Second, it focuses on behavioural manifestations of self-transcendence, rather than subjective experiences or beliefs. This makes it more suitable for assessing self-transcendence in people who may not have the cognitive or linguistic abilities to express their inner states, such as children, elderly, or patients with cognitive impairments. Third, it has a multidimensional structure that captures the various aspects of self-transcendence, rather than a single global score. This allows for a more nuanced and comprehensive evaluation of the construct.

The STOS has been validated in several studies with different populations, such as college students, cancer patients, and hospice volunteers. The results have indicated that the STOS has good internal consistency, inter-rater reliability, and convergent validity with other self-transcendence measures. The STOS has also demonstrated discriminant validity by showing that it is not related to personality traits or mental health variables that may confound the assessment of self-transcendence. The STOS has been found to be positively associated with psychological well-being, life satisfaction, and prosocial behaviour, and negatively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The STOS may therefore be a useful tool for measuring self-transcendence in research and clinical settings.


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