Meanings of Life

Meanings of Life

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by Roy F. Baumeister
     
 

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Who among us has not at some point asked, what is the meaning of life?' In this extraordinary book, an eminent social scientist looks at the big picture and explores what empirical studies from diverse fields tell us about the human condition. MEANINGS OF LIFE draws together evidence from psychology, history, anthropology, and sociology, integrating copious…  See more details below

Overview


Who among us has not at some point asked, what is the meaning of life?' In this extraordinary book, an eminent social scientist looks at the big picture and explores what empirical studies from diverse fields tell us about the human condition. MEANINGS OF LIFE draws together evidence from psychology, history, anthropology, and sociology, integrating copious research findings into a clear and conclusive discussion of how people attempt to make sense of their lives. In a lively and accessible style, emphasizing facts over theories, Baumeister explores why people desire meaning in their lives, how these meanings function, what forms they take, and what happens when life loses meaning. It is the most comprehensive examination of the topic to date.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Roy Baumeister writes conceptually exact, richly factual, and continuously delightful books on deep subjects, and this is his best." --Roger Brown, Ph.D.

"The topic is, of course, tremendous. We feel giddily nervous on even entertaining it, and so usually take it for granted or leave it to Monty Python. Fortunately, this volume has now arrived, bringing with it a far-reaching analysis of how life's meaning impinges on social life. It is rare to find such a broad array of intriguing and subtle hypotheses derived from a single theme, and even more rare to find such wide-ranging awareness of history and culture in contemporary social psychology." --Daniel M. Wegner, Ph.D.

"The book encourages the reader to struggle with hard questions that have no objective answers." --Jerry Bruce, Sam Houston State, Huntsville, Texas

Contemporary Psychology

"A scholarly and intriguing review of research and thought on finding meaningfulness in life. Laypeople and psychologists alike will find it a fascinating read. "--Contemporary Psychology
Booknews
Social psychologist Baumeister opens with basic ideas and theories regarding the need for meaning, including a review of the interdisciplinary literature that covers what social scientists say about such matters as happiness, suffering, and death. He goes on to discuss self-identity, work, passionate love and domestic bliss, religion, and life changes, with appendices on the work ethic and the parenthood paradox. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780898625318
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
09/25/1992
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
426
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.08(d)

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Meet the Author


Baumeister received his PhD in experimental social psychology from Princeton University in 1978. Since then, his research career has taken him to the University of California at Berkeley, to the University of Texas at Austin, to the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich, Germany, and to Case Western Reserve University, where in 1992 he was awarded the Elsie B. Smith Professorship in Liberal Arts. The recipient of an American Psychological Association award for his first book, he has authored over 100 publications and numerous articles in professional journals and scholarly volumes.

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