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Designing Positive PsychologyTaking Stock and Moving Forward$
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Kennon M. Sheldon, Todd B. Kashdan, and Michael F. Steger

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195373585

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373585.001.0001

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Meaning and Growth within Positive Psychology

Meaning and Growth within Positive Psychology

Toward a More Complete Understanding

(p.324) 21 Meaning and Growth within Positive Psychology
Designing Positive Psychology

Crystal L. Park

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the present state of integration within positive psychology regarding one particular aspect of human experience—meaning—which is central to human existence, regardless of the valence of that meaning. It examines the extent to which meaning is adequately captured in positive psychology perspectives and then describes what seems to be missing from this view at present. As a potential remedy, it proposes the grounding of positive psychological inquiry into issues of meaning and meaning making in an existential spiritual framework. Such a framework could bridge the fairly extensive but distinct work being conducted on meaning and stress-related growth and that on positive psychology, benefitting both areas of inquiry. The chapter concludes with ideas about how research on meaning, so framed, might move forward.

Keywords:   positive psychology, meaning, human existence, psychological inquiry

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