Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology

  • Alexander Batthyany
  • Pninit Russo-Netzer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Alexander Batthyany, Pninit Russo-Netzer
      Pages 3-22
  3. Conceptualizations of Meaning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-24
    2. Michael J. MacKenzie, Roy F. Baumeister
      Pages 25-37
    3. Pelin Kesebir, Tom Pyszczynski
      Pages 53-64
    4. Adrian Tomer
      Pages 65-79
  4. A Dialogue Between Positive and Existential Psychology: Exploring Connections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-96
    2. John Jurica, Jenni Barenz, Yerin Shim, Kirsten Graham, Michael F. Steger
      Pages 115-128
    3. Edwin E. Gantt, Jeffrey L. Thayne
      Pages 185-204
    4. Mike Prentice, Ian McGregor
      Pages 205-220
    5. Jinhyung Kim, Elizabeth Seto, William E. Davis, Joshua A. Hicks
      Pages 221-233
  5. Empirical and Applied Perspectives

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 435-467

About this book


"This volume, Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology is a timely and engaging exploration of these contrasting, but potentially reconcilable, orientations. It raises questions that have wide ranging academic, clinical and personal significance… a volume such as this, written by some of the most influential figures in positive psychology, is very much welcomed. But it also gives equal voice to the existentialists and this is where the volume has a distinctive strength"
- From the Foreword by Professor Brian R. Little, Ph.D. C.Psychol. FBPsS, Distinguished Scholar, Department of Psychology and Fellow, Well-Being Institute, Cambridge University

Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology presents a broad overview of contemporary empirical research and theoretical work on the meaning/purpose in life construct from two perspectives - Positive psychology and Existential psychology. Although they may have common ground, these perspectives have only recently come into fruitful dialogue. They may, in fact, be viewed as more complementary than strictly opposing. Positive psychology's focus on human strengths tends to emphasize the brighter side of human functioning, whereas existential psychology, traditionally, tends to address the more unsettling aspects of human existence, such as guilt, suffering, and mortality. Despite their different approaches, both positive and existential psychology have come to view meaning and meaning awareness as central psychological (and philosophical) factors, relevant both for human striving and for human coping.

Written by an international and interdisciplinary assembly of leading researchers in existential and positive psychology and related disciplines, this book includes twenty-one chapters on current trends and topics in meaning oriented clinical and theoretical psychology. Among the topics covered:

A dialogue between positive and existential psychology on:

  • Conceptualizations of meaning
  • Clinical utilizations of meaning
  • Meaning – Oriented
  • Meaning and mortality
  • Meaning and challenging life events
  • Benefits of meaning-oriented living
  • Meaning and existential anxiety

Intellectually rich and empirically robust, Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology is breakthrough reading for instructors and students, psychotherapists, clinical, social, existential, and positive psychologists and psychiatrists, philosophers, and interested general readers.


Roy Baumeister Viktor Frankl cognitive psychology coping ethereal constructs existential psychology humanistic psychology motivation therapy positive psychology positive psychology movement the contemporary philosophy of mind the notion of meaning

Editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Batthyany
    • 1
  • Pninit Russo-Netzer
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Human DevelopmentUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4939-0307-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4939-0308-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site