Results from two studies revealed that the relation between meaning in life and life satisfaction was moderated by the extent to which the rater was searching for meaning in his or her life. In Studies 1a and 1b the presence of meaning was more strongly related to life satisfaction for those who were actively searching for meaning in life than for those who were not. Study 2 extended the finding to judgments concerning a fictitious target’s life satisfaction based on experimentally manipulated information regarding meaning in life. Thus the role of meaning in life satisfaction judgments varies across individuals depending on the level of search for meaning in life. These results suggest that search for meaning behaves like a schema increasing the salience of meaningrelevant information and provides new ways of understanding people’s efforts to establish meaningful lives.
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