Alan Waterman Ph.DAlan Waterman, Ph. D. is a Professor Emeritus at The College of New Jersey. He is also the Editor of Identity:  An International Journal of Theory and Research and a Consulting Editor of Journal of Adolescence. Waterman has published over 70 articles, including:

Waterman, A. S. (2011). Eudaimonic identity theory: Identity as self-discovery. In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. L. Vignoles (Eds.). Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 357-379). New York: Springer.

Waterman, A. S., Schwartz, S. J., Zamboanga, B. L., Ravert, R. D., Williams, M. K., Agocha, V. B., Kim, S. Y., & Donnellan, M. B. (2010). The Questionnaire for Eudaimonic Well-Being: Psychometric properties, demographic comparisons, and evidence of validity. Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 41-61.

Waterman, A. S. (2008). Reconsidering happiness: A eudaimonist’s perspective. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 234-252.

Dr Waterman will be presenting a keynote on Identity and Meaning:  Contrasts of Existentialist and Essentialist Perspectives

Presentation Abstract:

Identity and Meaning:  Contrasts of Existentialist and Essentialist Perspectives

Identity and meaning are inter-related constructs pertaining to finding answers to the questions “Who am I?” and “What should I become?”.  Two metaphors for identity development and finding meaning-in-life are “discovery” and “creation”.  The discovery metaphor is grounded in essentialist philosophy whereas the creation metaphor derives from existentialism.  These philosophical perspectives are contrasted with respect to their implications for success when making identity choices that are personally meaningful.  The steps involved when using a eudaimonic, essentialist approach to establishing identity and finding meaning are discussed.