Social threats, happiness, and the dynamics of meaning in life judgments

  • Hicks J
  • Schlegel R
  • King L
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Four studies examined social relatedness and positive affect (PA) as alternate sources of information for judgments of meaning in life (MIL). In Studies 1 through 3 (total N = 282), priming loneliness increased reliance on PA and decreased reliance on social functioning in MIL judgments. In Study 4 (N = 138), daily assessments of PA, relatedness needs satisfaction (RNS), and MIL were obtained every 5 days over 20 days. Multilevel modeling showed that on days when RNS was low, PA was strongly related to MIL. Results suggest the dynamic ways that social relationships and PA inform judgments of MIL. Informational and motivational accounts of these results are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • existential meaning
  • loneliness
  • positive affect
  • social relationships

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  • Joshua A. Hicks

  • Rebecca J. Schlegel

  • Laura A. King

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