The Science of Meaning in Life. Academic Article uri icon


  • Meaning in life has long been a mystery of human existence. In this review, we seek to demystify this construct. Focusing on the subjective experience of meaning in life, we review how it has been measured and briefly describe its correlates. Then we review evidence that meaning in life, for all its mystery, is a rather commonplace experience. We then define the construct and review its constituent facets: comprehension/coherence, purpose, and existential mattering/significance. We review the many experiences that have been shown to enhance meaning in life and close by considering important remaining research questions about this fascinating topic.

published proceedings

  • Annu Rev Psychol

altmetric score

  • 68.698

author list (cited authors)

  • King, L. A., & Hicks, J. A.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • King, Laura A||Hicks, Joshua A

publication date

  • January 2021