"All animals fight for survival, but humans uniquely fight for significance. We don't just want to live, we want lives that matter."

Dr. Clay Routledge is a psychological scientist, writer, consultant, public speaker, and professor. He studies basic psychological needs and how these needs influence and are influenced by family, social and community bonds, economics, and broader cultural worldviews. Much of his research focuses on the need for meaning in life.

He has published over 100 scholarly papers, co-edited two books on existential psychology, and authored the books Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource and Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World. He was the lead writer for the TED-Ed animated lesson Why Do We Feel Nostalgia? 

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, John Templeton Foundation, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise, and Charles Koch Foundation.

His work has been featured by many media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, ABC News, BBC News, CBC News, CNN, MSNBC, Men’s Health, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. Dr. Routledge frequently serves as a guest expert for popular radio programs and podcasts. As a social commentator, Dr. Routledge has authored articles for a number of outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Scientific American.

Dr. Routledge is a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and a nonresident scholar for the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion. He lives in Fargo, North Dakota with his wife.

You can follow him on Twitter @clayroutledge