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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 197–214 | Cite as

Measuring Meaning in Life

  • Jessica MorganEmail author
  • Tom Farsides
Research Paper

Abstract

The present studies addressed the need for a comprehensive, economical, and psychometrically adequate measure of existential meaning. In Study 1, principal-axis factor analysis of participants’ responses to popular meaning measures identified five latent constructs underlying them, labelled purposeful life, principled life, valued life, exciting life, and accomplished life. These dimensions resonate with the meaning in life concept as understood by Frankl (1963. Man’s search for meaning. (Revised Ed.) London: Hodder & Stoughton) and the panoply of subsequent theoretical definitions (e.g. Battista and Almond. (1973). Psychiatry, 36, 409–427; 2000. Exploring existential meaning: Optimising human development across the life span (pp. 39–55). USA: Sage; 1998. The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 11–140). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum). Study 2 used these results as a foundation for developing a psychometrically satisfactory self-report questionnaire of each of these aspects of meaning in life. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) validated a five-factor structure, with each factor loading on a common second-order factor. Study 3 provided evidence for this new measure’s convergent validity and economic property. The final Meaningful Life Measure is reported and provides comprehensive but differentiated measurement of the meaning in life construct.

Keywords

Eudaimonic well-being Meaning in life Factor analysis Scale development 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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