The problem of meaning in personality psychology from the standpoints of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and life stories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In recent years, personality psychologists have focused increasing attention on the problem of meaning in human lives. Considering personality from the standpoint of the three layers of dispositional traits (the person conceived as a social actor), characteristic adaptations (the person as a motivated agent), and integrative life narratives (the person as author), this article identifies important features of personality that are associated with a person's sense that he or she is living a meaningful life. Dispositional traits associated with extraversion and conscientiousness appear to enhance meaning, whereas neuroticism is associated with lower levels of meaning in life. Characteristic adaptations, such as motives and goals, tend to specify what kinds of meanings people make and the specific areas in life where they make meaning. Strongly shaped by culture, integrative life stories show how the person authors a broad meaning for his or her entire life as seen over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
JournalJapanese Journal of Personality
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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