The effects of exposure to objective coherence on perceived meaning in life: A preregistered direct replication of Heintzelman, Trent & King (2013)

Kaylin Ratner, Anthony L. Burrow, Felix Thoemmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Having a sense of meaning in life (MIL) has been acknowledged as a catalyst to psychological flourishing. As such, understanding ways to promote MIL represents a worthy goal for those interested in bolstering positive outcomes. This study sought to replicate the findings of Heintzelman, Trent & King (2013 Psychol. Sci. 24, 991–998 doi:10.1177/0956797612465878)), who found that MIL could be influenced by external stimulation. Their findings suggest that exposure to coherent stimuli produces significantly higher MIL scores than exposure to incoherent stimuli. Using materials and methodology provided by the corresponding author of the original paper, this study attempted to directly test this manipulation under conditions with increased statistical power. All tests, however, failed to replicate. Possible explanations for these discrepant findings are discussed, and potential future directions for this area of the literature are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160431
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherence
  • Meaning in life
  • Replication
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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