A number of theoretical perspectives suggest that expectancy violations (EVs) threaten a person’s sense of meaning and prompt efforts to reinstate meaning. Yet little to no research has explicitly examined whether EVs predict actual efforts to search for meaning. The current research redresses this gap in the literature among a sample of breast cancer survivors. The results revealed that EVs but not life satisfaction positively predicted the search for meaning. By comparison the presence of meaning was predicted by both EVs and life satisfaction. Further EVs predicted an increased search for meaning among participants who simultaneously believed that their life had high levels of meaning. Thus personal EVs may offer a compelling framework for understanding what prompts searches for meaning.
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