Positive mood and social relatedness as information about meaning in life.

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Positive mood and social relatedness as information about meaning in life.

Meaning in life is widely considered a cornerstone of human functioning but relatively little is known about the factors that influence judgments of meaning in life. Four studies examined positive affect (PA) and social relatedness as sources of information for meaning in life judgments. Study 1 (N = 150) showed that relatedness need satisfaction (RNS) and PA each shared strong independent links to meaning in life. In Study 2 (N = 63) loneliness moderated the effects of a positive mood induction on meaning in life ratings. In Study 3 (N = 65) priming positive social relationships reduced the contribution of PA to subsequent judgments of meaning in life. In Study 4 (N = 95) relationship primes decreased reliance on PA and increased reliance on RNS compared to dessert primes. Results are discussed in terms of the value of integrating judgment processes in studies of meaning in life.

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