Paths to Meaning

The pursuit of enduring meaning is an important goal. It contributes to mental, physical, and social wellbeing. However, there is not a single path to meaning. People find meaning in a variety of unique endeavors based on personality characteristics and individual differences related to cognition, emotion, and motivation.

Our lab explores the distinct ways people seek and affirm meaning and how individual differences help protect people from psychological threats that compromise meaning. Below are some publications from recent projects.

Photo: J Routledge

Photo: J Routledge

Select Publications

Abeyta, A. & Routledge, C. (2018). The need for meaning and religiosity: An individual differences approach to assessing existential needs and the relation with religious commitment, beliefs, and experiences. Personality and Individual Differences, 123, 6-13. 

Abeyta. A.A., Routledge C., Julh, J. & Robinson, M.D. (2015). Finding meaning through emotional understanding: Emotional clarity predicts meaning in life and adjustment to existential threat. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 973-983.

Routledge, C., Juhl, J., Vess, M., Cathey, C., & Liao, J. (2013). Who uses groups to transcend the limits of the individuals self? Exploring the effects of interdependent self-construal and mortality salience on investment in social groups. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 483-491.

Routledge, C.,  Ostafin, B., Juhl, J., Sedikides, C., Cathey, C., & Liao, J. (2010). Adjusting to death: The effects of self-esteem and mortality salience on well-being, growth motivation, and maladaptive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 897-916.