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Benefits of a Daily Personal Growth Activity: An Autoethnographic Study

Maria Ribera Sites, Dept. of Psychology, and Carolyn Renao, with Dr. Richard Bargdill, Dept. of Psychology

The aim of this poster will be to describe autoethnographic research evaluating the benefits of a daily personal growth practice. For the past four years Dr. Richard Bargdill has taken a reading from one of the 81 chapters of the Tao de Ching as well as a reading from one of the 64 I-Ching excerpts daily. In addition, he writes his own commentary for each chapter of the Tao and a comparative American idiom for each I-Ching reading. The numbers corresponding to each excerpt pulled have all been recorded in an excel file to be examined for numerical trends.

Autoethnographic work must consist of five key features, which are included in the research we plan to present. First, there should be at least one participant in the study who is also a researcher. Second, the study must utilize methodological reflexivity suggesting that there is a framework that the researcher intentionally brought to the experience. Third, there is a clear narrative presence in any written texts meaning that the researcher/participant’s experiences are being described or elaborated upon. Fourth, the primary researcher shares the information so that it is not a private project, and the research should be dedicated to an agenda of empirical analysis aimed at enhancing a theoretical understanding of wider social phenomena. This personal growth autoethnographic research has provided us with both qualitative and quantitative data to analyze for the purpose of sharing the transformational power of daily meditative practice.

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Richard Bargdill, Ph.D.


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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Benefits of a Daily Personal Growth Activity: An Autoethnographic Study