International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Personal Meaning Production as a Component of Spiritual Intelligence

David B. King

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Abstract

Personal meaning production is defined as the ability to construct personal meaning and purpose in all physical and mental experiences, including the capacity to create and master a life purpose. The construct is explored as a component of spiritual intelligence (i.e., a mental capacity), offering support according to established criteria for intelligence. Evidence of cognitive operations and adaptive applications, including problem-solving and coping, is reviewed in detail. Personal meaning production appears to be highly adaptive in crises of an existential or spiritual nature, as well as problems related to physical and psychological health. Due to the seemingly infinite number of sources of personal meaning, it is argued that deriving meaning from all experiences represents the high end-state of this ability. It is further maintained that this capacity represents a highly viable and necessary component of spiritual intelligence, without which the portrait of human mentation is incomplete.

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