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The relationship between spirituality, assessed through self-transcendent goal strivings, and positive psychological attributes

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Chapter Summary

Emmons demonstrated that spiritual motivations can be assessed through personal goal strivings that are oriented toward the transcendent. This chapter used a nomothetic approach to the measurement of goal strivings and attempted to link spiritual strivings to many of the attributes (a) championed by the positive psychology movement and (b) consistent with classic theories of healthy personality development and functioning. Using a sample of college students, we found that spiritual, self-transcendent strivings were related as predicted with positive emotions, psychological health, sense of meaning and purpose, capacity for intimate and selfless interpersonal relationships, other-oriented vs. self-oriented values, and healthy, intrinsic vs. egocentric motivations. With only a few exceptions this research demonstrated that (a) goal strivings can be successfully assessed through a nomothetic strategy and (b) spirituality, approached via self-transcendent goal strivings, is related to a variety of positive characteristics consistent with positive psychology theory.

Keywords: Emmons; psychology theory; self-transcendent goal strivings; spirituality



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