The Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life is focused on conducting research to generate and deepen knowledge about the conditions that support meaningful and purposeful living, including understanding how people function most adaptively under stressful conditions (e.g., psychological or physical trauma, physical health challenges, psychological health problems). We are interested in the full range of human functioning, from factors that alleviate human suffering to those that enable human flourishing. We are committed to translating research on these topics to improve people’s experience in their personal, social, and work lives.
Among the topics we research are:
- the benefits of finding meaning in life and the identification of interventions and ecological factors that contribute to meaning in life
- psychological issues in health-promoting and health-risking behaviors
- identifying the benefits of experiencing meaningful work; understanding the qualities of organizations and leaders that attract or cultivate people who experience meaningful work; and developing interventions to improve people’s work experience with an eye to how improved work benefits families
- the interaction of personality and situational factors in impacting psychological distress and well-being
- cross-cultural research in meaning in life, meaningful work, and well-being
A number of methods are used in our lab, including:
- questionnaires and interviews
- daily process methodologies
- qualitative narrative analysis
- social psychology laboratory experiments
- psychological and behavioral interventions
Our Laboratory’s philosophy toward scientific inquiry requires that we each invest fully in the intellectual development of every lab member. This requires passion and commitment, and each person in the lab is expected to contribute fully to the advancement of scientific knowledge through critically consuming research literature, creating and refining research ideas, conducting and managing experiments, learning advanced data analysis procedures, and helping disseminate the knowledge our lab generates to the wider scientific and social community.
These ambitions are achieved through serious and intense investment in the scientific grounding, critical thinking skills, autonomy, and passions of lab members. Graduate students are considered to be colleagues, and one of the prime missions of the lab is to foster independent-thinking, skilled, and ethical social and clinical scientists. It is our belief that through commitment and engagement in students’ intellectual passions and interests, research becomes rewarding, socially-relevant, and fun!
If you are interested in becoming a Research Assistant in the Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life, please go follow this link to the Participate in the Lab page.