International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Meaning and Positive Psychology

Christopher Peterson, Ph.D

University of Michigan

Nansook Park, Ph.D

University of Michigan


Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living. Meaning is always included by positive psychologists as an element of the good life, but actually figures importantly in all topics of substantive concern to positive psychology. Research is described that links meaning to life satisfaction, character strengths, and physical health. In conclusion, this paper addresses why positive psychology is more often identified as the study of happiness than the study of meaning and how this situation might be remedied.

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