Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Incorporating Teaching of Meaning and Value in College Psychology Courses


Psychology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Social and Behavioral Sciences


The concept of meaning and value is often relegated to the intimate setting of therapy or the objective discussions of philosophy classrooms. Often, it is missing from the typical academic psychology courses, except as a brief, historical introduction to the fields of existential and humanistic psychology. In spite of this, many academic psychologists have labored to retain this important dimension as a critical component of traditional psychology courses taught at the undergraduate level. This paper will explain some techniques and examples of introducing the concept of meaning and value into several routinely offered college courses in psychology. The author has been incorporating various aspects of teaching meaning and value, as well as introducing the work of Viktor Frankl, for over twenty of the thirty years of her university teaching career. The specific exercises, classroom presentations, and reactions of the students involved will be reported. In addition, follow-up comments and retrospective remarks will be gathered from as many former students as possible and presented at the conference. This is not a formal research project, but is definitely a prototype for developing a research program and identifying appropriate before and after measures to objectively assess changes. A list of materials, classroom exercises and assignments will be made available to conference participants, along with suggested ways of implementing them.

Conference Name

The Positive Psychology of Flourishing Through Meaning and Value

Conference Location

Toronto, Ontario

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