Conceptions of Meaning



Series: Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology
BISAC: PSY000000

The book “Conceptions of Meaning” was edited by Shulamith Kreitler and Tomáš Urbánek, two psychologists who are known for their contributions to the study of meaning in psychology. The purpose of the book is to introduce Meaning back into psychology. Indeed, it has always been there, but it has not been developed and applied sufficiently to become prominent in the mainstream of science. The editors believe that the potentials of Meaning are too great and too important to be overlooked.

The book includes 12 chapters by prominent researchers and thinkers who present different aspects and manifestations of meaning. In this book, the reader will find new conceptions of meaning, new methodologies, a variety of methods for its assessment, and innovative applications in familiar and new domains.

There are four parts in this book. The first part is devoted to general conceptual and methodological approaches to meaning. Chapter 1 by S. Kreitler presents the meaning system, which is an innovative and comprehensive theoretical and methodological approach, with a broad empirical basis, tools for the assessment of meaning, and in regard to cognition, personality, emotions and consciousness. Chapter 2 by Petrenko and Mitina presents psychosemantics, which is a comprehensive theoretical and methodological approach to meaning, supported by a large body of data. It presents a highly interesting material of studies done by Russian scientists and that at least partly has not been commonly available until recently.
The second part deals with meaning from the perspective of different disciplines. Chapter 3 by Riboli is a fascinating approach to meaning through the venue of sensory experiences in different cultures. Chapter 4 by Kantzara binds meaning to the concepts of self, society, social interactions, status, prestige and democracy from the perspective of sociology. Chapter 5 by Born and Gatarik approaches meaning from the point of view of philosophy and information management, keeping the discussion both abstract and practically concrete. Chapter 6 by Sages provides a theoretical and experiential encounter with meaning in the framework of phenomenology.

The third part of the book is devoted to applications of meaning in various domains. Chapter 7 by Margaliot presents the theory, method and practice of the application of the system of meaning to education. Chapter 8 by Schnell presents a highly impressive project of constructing a viable, useful and updated instrument for the assessment of the most important and intriguing concept of meaning in life. Chapter 9 by Filip describes the application of Kelly’s personal construct approach to psychotherapy.

The fourth part of the book is devoted to methodological approaches, capitalizing on assessment and empirical tools. Chapter 10 by Kuzari deals with semantic calculus, describing how the meaning of a sentence or phrase is constructed out of the meanings of the constituent words. Chapter 11 by Chrz and Cermak presents a comprehensive and lucid description of narrative meaning. Chapter 12 by Urbanek and Czekoova is devoted to the varied methodologies of textual analysis of meaning.

This book is meant to be read, studied, and enjoyed. The goal of the editors and authors would be attained if the book inspires readers to think about meaning, discover its explicit and implicit manifestations, and create new meanings of meaning for themselves and new applications in the human sciences. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Part I: General Conceptual and Methodological Approaches

Chapter 1 – Meaning and Its Manifestations: The Meaning System (pp. 3-32)
Shulamith Kreitler (Tel-Aviv University, School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv, Israel)

Chapter 2 – A Psychosemantic Approach to the Study of Meanings (pp. 33-56)
Victor Petrenko and Olga Mitina (Moscow State University after M. Lomonosov, Moscow, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow)

Part II: Meaning from the Perspective of Different Disciplines

Chapter 3 – The Other(s‘) Sense(s): Meaning, Sensorial Experience and Anthropological Encounters (pp. 59-72)
Diana Riboli (Panteio University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece)

Chapter 4 – Meaning, Self and Interaction from a Sociological Perspective: Exploring the Relation in Two Studies on Prestige and Solidarity in Greece (pp. 73-88)
Vasiliki Kantzara (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece)

Chapter 5 – Against Crowding Out the Meaning of Meaning (pp. 89-112)
Rainer Born and Eva Gatarik (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, Masaryk University, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Czech Republic)

Chapter 6 – Meaning Constitution Analysis: A Transcendental Phenomenological Approach to Empirical Research in Psychology and Related Areas (pp. 113-148)
Roger B. Sages (Department of Psychology, Work-and Organisational Science, Division, University of Lund, Sweden)

Part III: Applications of Meaning in Different Domains

Chapter 7 – Meaning in Education: The Meaning Dimensions As Tools for the Training of Thinking Skills (pp. 151-172)
Adva Margaliot (Achva Academic College of Education, Israel)

Chapter 8 – Meaning in Life Operationalized: An Empirical Approach to Existential Psychology (pp. 173-194)
Tatjana Schnell (Innsbruck University, Innsbruck, Austria)

Chapter 9 – Psychological Meaning from the Point of View of the Psychology of Personal Constructs (pp. 195-210)
Miroslav Filip (Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

Part IV: Methodological Approaches to Meaning

Chapter 10 – Semantic Calculus of Meanings (pp. 213-220)
Meir Kuzari Kozarinsky (Israeli Association for Psychotherapy, Tel-Aviv, Israel)

Chapter 11 – Narrative Meaning: Dilemmas of Interpretation (pp. 221-242)
Vladimír Chrz and Ivo Čermák (Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)

Chapter 12 – Analysis of Textual Data in Psychology (pp. 243-254)
Tomáš Urbánek and Kristína Czekóová (Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)

Editors’ Contact Information


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