Book Chapter

Meaning in Life: Nature, Needs, and Myths

Michael J MacKenzie, Roy F Baumeister

MEANING IN POSITIVE AND EXISTENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY | SPRINGER | Published : 2014

Abstract

The authors first discuss the nature of meaning with a focus on three broad functions of meaning and two levels of meaning. Next, the authors discuss the need for meaning with a focus on the four needs for meaning (Baumeister 1991). Finally, the authors discuss some myths related to meaning, particularly the expectation that everything in life does (or will) make sense and have a reason. Throughout the chapter, the authors discuss ideas where the existential perspective and positive psychology perspective differ and could be integrated. Meaning in life likely serves several different functions. First, meaning helps individuals detect patterns in their environment. Such patterns can exist in ..

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