Meaning Conference 2014

November 26, 2015

Meaning Conference 2014 — July 24-27

The First Congress on the Construction of Personal Meaning: Exploring What Makes Life Worth Living combined the INPM’s 8th Biennial International Meaning Conference and the Constructivist Psychology Network’s 16th Biennial Conference. This congress was held July 24-27, 2014 at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.

Psychologists have increasingly recognized that meaning is central to human functioning and well-being. Although people in the community may not be able to articulate what meaning is, they do experience deep satisfaction in meaningful activities and relationships, and they are interested in finding out how to live a worthwhile and fulfilling life. Can psychology provide a roadmap that guides their search for meaning? Though the literature on meaning is rapidly growing, it is still in a state of flux and confusion, with researchers defining and assessing meaning differently. There is an urgent need for conceptual clarity, valid measures, and synthesis of existing research findings, in order to advance the science of meaning and provide a practical guide for all those interested in meaningful living.

This conference continued the tradition of being the only international conference devoted to the study of meaning in life. It provided a Meaning Summit for leaders in logotherapy, positive psychology, existential-humanistic psychology, constructivist psychology, and other disciplines to address the fundamental issues of what makes life worth living, such as:

  • What is the meaning in life? Is there a comprehensive definition?
  • What makes life worth living regardless of circumstances?
  • How does meaning contribute to healing and flourishing?
  • What kinds of goals contribute to meaningfulness and why?
  • Is meaning subjective, objective, or a mixture of both?
  • Does meaningfulness of life depend on what one thinks or what one actually does?
  • How is meaning related to happiness?
  • Do we need ultimate meaning that transcends the self and its limitations?

Participants in the Meaning Summit included Alex Pattakos, Alexander Batthyany, Michael Steger, Crystal Park, Phillip Shaver, Kiran Salagame, Maurits Kwee, Chi-yun Lin, Paul T. P. Wong, Robert Neimeyer, Joshua Hicks, Rebecca Schlegel, Jonathan Raskin, Stefan E. Schulenberg, Veronika Huta, and Brent Potter.

Workshop leaders included Stanley Krippner, Robert Neimeyer, Lilian C. J. Wong, Stefan E. Schulenberg, Paul T. P. Wong, and Brent Potter. Click here to view the workshop descriptions.

Download the conference program here.


From Gordon Medlock, PhD (Faculty & Coach, Wright Graduate University, Chicago, IL)

I want to congratulate you on creating a very stimulating and successful conference. I got a lot from it—great contacts, discussions, and a deeper appreciation of Frankl’s work and the importance of a meaning-orientation in psychology. All around it was very rewarding—thank you for including me.

From Yoshiyuki Takano, PhD (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC)

It was very nice to see you at the conference. I always enjoy your Meaning Conference. It has been very inspiring.

From Yerin Shim, PhD Candidate (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO)

The meaning conference was an amazing experience for me. I deeply thank you and Dr. Wong for making this opportunity to learn more about meaning and meeting all the great people who share the same vision. I do hope I can come to the next Meaning Conference!

From Jackie Yang (Sydney, Australia)

Thank you so much for having me at the Meaning Conference. I enjoyed meeting talented professionals, especially your high-achieving family. You inspired me to continue my journey in the field of psychology. So, hopefully, I can positively influence people just like you do.