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Finding meaning through emotional understanding: emotional clarity predicts meaning in life and adjustment to existential threat

Finding meaning through emotional understanding: emotional clarity predicts meaning in life and adjustment to existential threat
Finding meaning through emotional understanding: emotional clarity predicts meaning in life and adjustment to existential threat
If emotions provide information relevant to personal meaning, then people with a greater sense of clarity about their emotions may possess some advantages in finding meaning in their lives. Consistent with this, in Studies 1, 2, and 3 we found that individuals high in trait emotional clarity have greater meaning in life. However, meaning is often undermined by existential threats. In two subsequent studies we measured (Study 4) or manipulated (Study 5) existentially threatening thoughts, and then measured meaning in life. Results showed that elevated death thoughts were associated with deficits in meaning for individuals with low, but not high, in trait emotional clarity. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that the extent to which one clearly understands their emotions contributes to perceptions of meaning in life and the maintenance of meaning in the context of existential threat.
emotional clarity, meaning in life, existential threat, meta-emotional processes
0146-7239
1-11
Abeyta, Andrew
1d566033-235c-45d5-85e7-f7a0c85dc316
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Juhl, Jacob
1c3b38b1-ba9e-4f3c-8520-ebca3b712fa2
Robinson, Michael
377d2e1d-b07a-4493-9f2e-131f050cc3a7
Abeyta, Andrew
1d566033-235c-45d5-85e7-f7a0c85dc316
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Juhl, Jacob
1c3b38b1-ba9e-4f3c-8520-ebca3b712fa2
Robinson, Michael
377d2e1d-b07a-4493-9f2e-131f050cc3a7

Abeyta, Andrew, Routledge, Clay, Juhl, Jacob and Robinson, Michael (2015) Finding meaning through emotional understanding: emotional clarity predicts meaning in life and adjustment to existential threat. Motivation and Emotion, 1-11. (doi:10.1007/s11031-015-9500-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

If emotions provide information relevant to personal meaning, then people with a greater sense of clarity about their emotions may possess some advantages in finding meaning in their lives. Consistent with this, in Studies 1, 2, and 3 we found that individuals high in trait emotional clarity have greater meaning in life. However, meaning is often undermined by existential threats. In two subsequent studies we measured (Study 4) or manipulated (Study 5) existentially threatening thoughts, and then measured meaning in life. Results showed that elevated death thoughts were associated with deficits in meaning for individuals with low, but not high, in trait emotional clarity. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that the extent to which one clearly understands their emotions contributes to perceptions of meaning in life and the maintenance of meaning in the context of existential threat.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 May 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 June 2015
Keywords: emotional clarity, meaning in life, existential threat, meta-emotional processes
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380046
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380046
ISSN: 0146-7239
PURE UUID: 66f55e20-2489-4baa-ae63-3063f54dff5a

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Date deposited: 02 Sep 2015 15:57
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:10

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Contributors

Author: Andrew Abeyta
Author: Clay Routledge
Author: Jacob Juhl
Author: Michael Robinson

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