© 2013

The Experience of Meaning in Life

Classical Perspectives, Emerging Themes, and Controversies

  • Joshua A. Hicks
  • Clay Routledge

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Theoretical Perspectives

  3. Cognition, Decision Making, and Motivational Processes

  4. Self, Identity, and Individual Differences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Rebecca J. Schlegel, Christina M. Smith, Kelly A. Hirsch
      Pages 177-188
    3. Constantine Sedikides, Claire M. Hart, Sylwia Z. Cisek, Clay Routledge
      Pages 189-200
    4. Kate C. McLean, Sarah Morrison-Cohen
      Pages 201-212

About this book


This edited volume takes an in depth exploration into the burgeoning field of meaning in life in the psychological sciences. Each chapter features leading scholars who describe current empirical findings in a thorough and accessible manner, highlighting important issues and controversies facing the scientific study of meaning in life. The book covers an exhaustive range of topics including conceptual and methodological issues, core psychological mechanisms that contribute to a sense of meaning, as well as important antecedents, environmental, cognitive and personality variables that bear on the experience of meaning in life. This volume is a must read for any researcher, student, or clinician interested in the state of meaning in life in the psychological sciences.


Construction and Destruction of Meaning Emotions and Meaning in Life Existential Psychology Hardiness and Searching for Meaning Meaning and Belonging Meaning and Commitment across the Adult Life Span Meaning in Life Meaning in the light of Death Meaningfulness at Work Mindfulness Perceptions of a Meaningful Self Positive Psychology Psychological Well-being Religion and Meaning of Life Subjective Well-being The Making of Meaning The Meaning of Hope Wellspring of Meaning

Editors and affiliations

  • Joshua A. Hicks
    • 1
  • Clay Routledge
    • 2
  1. 1., Dept. of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2., Dept of PsychologyNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

About the editors

Joshua Hicks earned his BA from San Francisco State University, MS from Villanova University, and PhD from the University of Missouri. He is currently an assistant professor in the psychology department at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. His research focuses on classic and applied questions related to social and personality psychology. Although the specific question has varied, these lines of investigation are unified by their aim to understand the dynamic interplay of individual differences, situational factors, and cognitive processes in important outcomes such as the experience of meaning in life, positive emotions, psychological well-being, intuition, the link between substance use and behaviour, judgment and decision making processes, and personality development.

Clay Routledge earned his BA from Missouri Southern State University and his MS and PhD from the University of Missouri. He spent two years as an assistant professor in the Centre for Research on Self and Identity at the University of Southampton, UK and is now an assistant professor in the psychology dept at North Dakota State University. He is trained as an experimental social psychologist and his research focuses on the many ways people navigate their social and cultural worlds in order to attain and sustain a sense of meaning, happiness, social connectedness, and self-transcendence.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“The editors have succeeded in exposing readers to a wide range of theoretical and empirical treatments of meaning. Therefore, I highly recommend this book as a useful resource for research and applications.” (Paul T. P. Wong, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 59 (22), 2014)