Meaning in psychologists' personal and professional lives

Jerry L. Kernes, Richard Kinnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In this study, the authors examine psychologists' beliefs about meaning in their own lives. Psychologists completed the Personal Meaning Profile and Meaning in Life Questionnaire to assess their beliefs about the cosmic and terrestrial meaning of life. Psychologists also completed an existential career exercise to assess those aspects of their professional lives they found most meaningful. Overall, psychologists rejected the notion that there is no cosmic meaning to life and instead generally supported the belief that the meaning of life is to love, help, or show compassion for others. Psychologists also rejected statements indicating that nothing was personally meaningful to them and generally reported that intimate relationships, family, and friendships brought the most personal meaning to their lives. Finally, as a group, psychologists indicated that helping others live more satisfying lives was the most important aspect of their professional work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-220
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Meaning
  • Professional development
  • Psychologists
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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