In-Depth Relationships between Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits in Meditation Practitioners
Soo-Hee Choi 1, 2, Seung Chan An 3, Ul Soon Lee 4, Je-Yeon Yun 1, 2, Joon Hwan Jang 1, 2, Do-Hyung Kang 1, 2*
1Seoul National University Hospital, 2Seoul National University College of Medicine, 3Korea Institute of Brain Science, 4Global Cyber University
Received: March 31, 2017; Revised: May 2, 2017; Accepted: May 8, 2017; Published online: May 8, 2017.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objective: Meditation can elicit trait-like changes in psychological and social styles, as well as enhancement of emotional regulatory capacity. We investigated the relation between personality traits and emotional intelligence in meditation practitioners.
Methods: Seventy-two long-term practitioners of mind-body training (MBT) and 62 healthy comparative individuals participated in the study. The participants completed emotional intelligence questionnaires and the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Results: The MBT group revealed higher scores on all five emotional intelligence factors than did those in the control group, such as emotional awareness and expression, empathy, emotional thinking, emotional application, and emotional regulation (all p ≤ 0.001). MBT practitioners also had higher scores on the intuition of perceiving function (t = -2.635, p = 0.010) and on the feeling of the judging function (t = -3.340, p = 0.001) of the MBTI compared with those in the control group. Only the MBT group showed a robust relationship with every factor of emotional intelligence and MBTI-defined intuitive styles, indicating that higher scores of emotional intelligence were related to higher scores for intuition.
Conclusion: Emotional intelligence of meditation practitioners showed notable relationships with some features of personality trait. In-depth associations between emotional intelligence and personality traits would help to foster psychological functions in meditation practitioners.
Keywords: Meditation, Mind-body training, Emotional intelligence, Personality, Myers–Briggs Type Indicator