The International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) offers members year-round opportunities to learn about the science and application of positive psychology, and to connect with experts in the field. One example is through the Positive Psychology Leader Series program, which features monthly webinars and Q&A with distinguished practitioners and academics.

Meaningful Living During Difficult Times: The Role of Purpose

with Laura King, Ph.D.

May 19th, 5pm EST*

Abstract: Meaning in life is often viewed as a grand experience reserved for people who have the resources to engage in activities that promote a rare and much sought after experience. After debunking common misconceptions about meaning in life, I will review evidence demonstrating the vital role of purpose in the everyday experience of meaning in life even during difficult times. Purpose may be a resilient source of meaning for people who have experienced negative, even traumatic, events.

Speaker Biography: Laura A. King received her BA in English Literature (with high honors and distinction) and Psychology (with distinction) at Kenyon College and her PhD in Personality Psychology from the University of California, Davis. She was on the faculty of Southern Methodist University for 10 years prior to moving to the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences. Laura’s research concerns well-being, especially meaning in life, the life story, and folk theories of The Good Life. Whatever the topic, her work reflects an enduring interest in what is healthy and functioning about people, and recognizing psychological functioning in everyday people and their everyday lives. She has published over 100 articles and chapters and two successful textbooks. She received the Carol and Ed Diener Award for Distinguished Contributions to Personality in 2011; the award for Distinguished Service to SPSP in 2015; and the 2018 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality Psychology, the highest honor in her field. She was recently elected President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Laura has served as editor or associate editor for a number of journals and was the first woman to edit the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, the top outlet in personality and social psychology. She is currently the editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science. She lives with her wife Lisa and their son, Sam. She enjoys morning runs with the family dog, John, and in the “before times” she hosted extravagant dinner parties.


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