• Carmel Proctor, Roger G Tweed, Daniel Morris – The Naturally Emerging Structure of Well-Being
  • Elias Tsakanikos – Making the meaningless meaningful: The role of uncertainty and individual differences in the perception of meaning from random strings of letters
  • Diego Vitali, Greta Cecutti, Lauren Sayers, David Winter Constructivist methods and Existential therapy: exploring how clients change in therapy from a constructivist perspective

 

 

Carmel Proctor, Roger G Tweed and Daniel Morris

Title: The Naturally Emerging Structure of Well-Being

Affiliation:

Abstract:  This study explored common measures of well-being to assess whether the naturally emerging relationships are best explained by a ‘‘Big Two’’ (hedonic vs. eudaimonic), a “Big Three” (positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction) or another, yet to be discovered framework. A sample of young adult participants (n = 355) completed measures of life satisfaction, flourishing, positive and negative affect, meaning in life, searching for meaning, having basic psychological needs met, and subjective happiness. Goldberg’s (2006) Bass-Ackward procedure of component analysis was used to determine the relationship between the variables. Results indicated that life satisfaction and flourishing loaded on both hedonic and eudaimonic components at several levels of the analysis, suggesting that life satisfaction and flourishing are not pure measures of hedonia or eudaimonia and may be outcomes of both hedonia and eudaimonia. Life satisfaction and flourishing may be superordinate categories that reflect outcomes of both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Thus, the ‘‘Big Three’’ measures often used in positive psychology (i.e., positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction) seem to lack a pure measure of eudaimonia and are not a balanced combination of hedonia and eudaimonia. The pattern of data found here are consistent with a proposal that an experience of personal meaning may be a more pure measure of eudaimonic well-being, though further exploration of that proposal is required.  Results further indicated that searching for meaning was distinct from hedonia but was also distinct from the experience of having meaning and was not an effective indicator of eudaimonic well-being. Overall, the results justify the distinction between hedonia and eudaimonia; however, they also suggest that further distinctions between different measures of well-being are required. Furthermore, the results suggest that more pure measures of eudaimonia deserve to be explored and that further understanding the place of life satisfaction within hedonic and eudaimonic conceptualizations of happiness is important in enhancing our overall understanding of well-being.

 

 

Elias Tsakanikos

Title: Making the meaningless meaningful: The role of uncertainty and individual differences in the perception of meaning from random strings of letters

Affiliation: University of Roehampton

implications for practice: The experimental paradigm reported in this paper could be employed as potential screening tool for practitioners implications for research: This type of research has the potential to enhance understanding of putative cognitive processes underlying perceptual meaning generation

Abstract:

Under conditions of perceptual ambiguity, the visual system is predisposed to attribute meaning to meaningless stimuli. For example, when people are exposed to fast moving images of random strings of letters in the laboratory they often report seeing non-existing words (Tsakanikos & Reed, 2005; Tsakanikos 2005; Randal et al. 2008; Grant et al. 2015). In this study, we further attempted to test a new theoretical model of the cognitive tendency to turn something conceptually meaningless (random strings of letters) into something conceptually meaningful (words).  Undergraduate students (N =170) took part in a visual search paradigm and were asked to detect fast moving words under three different probability conditions: low (.25), medium (.50) and high (.75). They also completed measures of associability, hallucination-proneness and locus of control. All participants also completed a number of self-report measures assessing hallucination-proneness, social desirability and sub-clinical characteristics. The results showed that probability levels had an effect on both accuracy (+) and false perceptions (-) of words. However, hallucination-proneness was associated with generation of false perceptions only under low and medium probability levels. The effect was independent of accuracy, social desirability and task order. The findings are discussed in terms of putative cognitive processes underlying perceptual meaning generation.

 

Diego Vitali, Greta Cecutti, Lauren Sayers and David Winter

Title: Constructivist methods and Existential therapy: exploring how clients change in therapy from a constructivist perspective

Affiliation: University of Roehampton, EASE Wellbeing (CIC), University of Hertfordshire

Abstract:

Objectives: Explore how a construction system changes in the strength of construct relationships as a result of a short term existential intervention.

Method: 32 Adult clients between 18-65yo that were presenting mild to moderate levels of anxiety or depression were offered 6 weekly sessions of a goal-focused existential-phenomenological intervention that aims at promoting the clients’ hermeneutic processes around the issue presented and its possible solutions. CORE Outcome Measure was administered before and after the intervention. Two repertory grid technique (RGT) interviews were offered to each client to assess construing system. A first grid was elicited and administered before the intervention and then the same grid was re-administered one week after the end of the last session. Therapists did not access any information from the repertory grid and followed a therapy protocol. This short term intervention aimed at helping clients using their own resources to understand their position with respect to the issue presented as a problem and then to help clients find personal and creative ways of coping with their difficulties. Change in the construction system of the clients was explored looking at the interactions between commonly accepted structural measures and CORE-OM. Furthermore, a bi-dimensional perspective on the differences between- and within-construct and its mathematical representation was explored and it is presented.

Results: The existential-phenomenological intervention showed large improvement on the CORE-OM global score. The proposed exploration the construing system before and after therapy is presented and.