The first edition of The Human Quest for Meaning was a major publication on the empirical research of meaning in life and its vital role in well-being, resilience, and psychotherapy. This new edition continues that quest and seeks to answer the questions, what is the meaning of life? How do we explain what constitutes meaningful relationships, work, and living?
The answers, as the eminent scholars and practitioners who contributed to this text find, are neither simple nor straightforward. While seeking to clarify subjective vs. objective meaning in 21 new and 7 revised chapters, the authors also address the differences in cultural contexts, and identify 8 different sources of meaning, as well as at least 6 different stages in the process of the search for meaning. They also address different perspectives, including positive psychology, self-determination, integrative, narrative, and relational perspectives, to ensure that readers obtain the most thorough information possible. Mental health practitioners will find the numerous meaning-centered interventions, such as the PURE and ABCDE methods, highly useful in their own work with facilitating healing and personal growth in their clients. The Human Quest for Meaning represents a bold new vision for the future of meaning-oriented research and applications. No one seeking to truly understand the human condition should be without it.

part I|273 pages


chapter 1|20 pages

Toward a Dual-Systems Model of What Makes Life Worth Living

ByPaul T. P. Wong

chapter 3|24 pages

Creating Meaning Through Making Decisions

BySalvatore R. Maddi

chapter 4|26 pages

Motivation, Meaning, and Wellness

A Self-Determination Perspective on the Creation and Internalization of Personal Meanings and Life Goals
ByNetta Weinstein, Richard M. Ryan, Edward L. Deci

chapter 5|17 pages

Meaning and Personality

ByDan P. McAdams

chapter 6|17 pages

Positive Affect and Meaning in Life

The Intersection of Hedonism and Eudaimonia
ByLaura A. King, Joshua A. Hicks

chapter 7|21 pages

On the Distinction Between Subjective Well-Being and Meaning in Life

Regulatory Versus Reconstructive Functions in the Face of a Hostile World
ByDov Shmotkin, Amit Shrira

chapter 8|20 pages

Experiencing Meaning in Life

Optimal Functioning at the Nexus of Well-Being, Psychopathology, and Spirituality
ByMichael F. Steger

chapter 9|24 pages

The Meaning of Love

ByArthur Aron, Elaine N. Aron

chapter 10|23 pages

Meaning and Death Attitudes

ByAdrian Tomer

chapter 11|15 pages

Existential Well-Being and Health

ByCarol D. Ryff

chapter 12|25 pages

Relational Buddhism

A Psychological Quest for Meaning and Sustainable Happiness
ByMaurits G. T. Kwee

part II|220 pages


chapter 13|19 pages

Character Strengths and the Life of Meaning

ByChristopher Peterson, Nansook Park

chapter 14|17 pages

The Construction of Meaning From Life Events

Empirical Studies of Personal Narratives
ByKristin L. Sommer, Roy F. Baumeister, Tyler F. Stillman

chapter 15|20 pages

Autobiographical Memory and Personal Meaning

Stable Versus Flexible Meanings of Remembered Life Experiences
ByDenise R. Beike, Travis S. Crone

chapter 16|21 pages

Life Meaning and Purpose in Life Among Chinese Adolescents

What Can We Learn From Chinese Studies in Hong Kong?
ByDaniel T. L. Shek

chapter 17|26 pages

Meaning-in-Life Measures and Development of a Brief Version of the Personal Meaning Profile

ByMarvin J. McDonald, Paul T. P. Wong, Daniel T. Gingras

chapter 18|25 pages

Restoring, Maintaining, and Enhancing Personal Meaning in Life Through Autobiographical Methods

ByGary T. Reker, James E. Birren, Cheryl M. Svensson

chapter 19|24 pages

Meaning in Life and Healthy Aging

ByNeal Krause

chapter 20|24 pages

Personal Meaning in Life and Psychosocial Adaptation in the Later Years

ByGary T. Reker, Paul T. P. Wong

chapter 21|38 pages

Meaning and Agency in the Context of Genetic Testing for Familial Cancer

ByLisa G. Aspinwall, Samantha L. Leaf, Sancy A. Leachman

part III|153 pages


chapter 22|24 pages

Clinical Approaches to Discrepancies in Meaning

Conceptualization, Assessment, and Treatment
ByJeanne M. Slattery, Crystal L. Park

chapter 23|18 pages

Meaning and Meaning Making in Cancer Survivorship

ByCrystal L. Park

chapter 24|19 pages

When Meaning Is Threatened

The Importance of Goal Adjustment for Psychological and Physical Health
ByCarsten Wrosch, Michael F. Scheier, Gregory E. Miller, Charles S. Carver

chapter 25|14 pages

Pathways to Personal Transformation

Theoretical and Empirical Developments
ByRichard G. Tedeschi, Lawrence G. Calhoun

chapter 26|12 pages

The Human Heart or Recovering the Meaning of Life

A Theory Integrating Sexuality, Meaning of Life, and Sense of Coherence Applied in Holistic Therapy
BySøren Ventegodt, Joav Merrick

chapter 27|33 pages

A Meaning-Centered Approach to Building Youth Resilience

ByPaul T. P. Wong, Lilian C. J. Wong

chapter 28|29 pages

From Logotherapy to Meaning-Centered Counseling and Therapy

ByPaul T. P. Wong