Michael F. Steger, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Applied Social Psychology, and Director of Clinical Training and the Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life, at Colorado State University. He has spent more than a decade researching the factors that promote human flourishing and ameliorate psychological suffering. He developed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, which has been translated into over 30 languages. His current research examines the role of meaning in people’s health, including their engagement in health-risking and health-promoting behaviors. He is author of Designing Positive Psychology and Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace.
A Review of the Past and a Look to the Future of Meaning Research: Emerging Research on the Relevance of Meaning to Health.
Meaning in life refers to people s judgments that their lives are significant and have purpose. Five decades of research have established meaning in life as a cornerstone of well-being and optimal functioning. However, it might seem that this research is simply affirming that meaning in life appears empirically to be as desirable as it is thought to be colloquially. The future of research on meaning in life will need to address the practical and tangible impact of meaning beyond survey responses. This necessity is particularly salient with regard to demonstrating an association between meaning in life and health. Examples of exciting emerging programs of research will be reviewed, with an emphasis on behavioral and physiological indicators of health. A model of the link between meaning and health will be presented, along with data from the presenter’s lab that bears out key aspects of the model.
Keynote Learning Objectives
- Articulate the general findings in meaning in life research.
- Discuss the practical and tangible impact of meaning in life beyond survey response
- Demonstrate the relationship between meaning in life and health