Meaning in life and seeing the big picture: Positive affect and global focus Academic Article uri icon


  • Research has demonstrated that there is a strong relationship between positive affect (PA) and meaning in life. It has been suggested that this relationship may exist, in part, because PA facilitates a global cognitive focus, allowing a person to see "the big picture" of his or her life. Although it is possible global focus mediates the relationship between PA and meaning in life, it is also possible that global focus moderates this relationship by either enhancing or weakening the relationship. The present study tested these mediational and moderational hypotheses. In this study, participants completed measures of PA, meaning in life, and a global/local focus task. Results showed that global focus did not mediate the relationship between PA and meaning in life. Instead, global focus moderated the relationship, such that those who had higher global focus were actually less likely to base their meaning in life judgements on PA. Implications for understanding the relation of PA, global focus, and meaning in life are discussed.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hicks, J. A., & King, L. A.

citation count

  • 106

complete list of authors

  • Hicks, Joshua A||King, Laura A

publication date

  • January 2007