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Economic, spiritual and political divides shape where People in america find meaning – but family members, profession and relationship emerge as common themes

Why is life significant? Answering this kind of big concern might be challenging for most people. Also among scientists, there clearly was small opinion concerning the easiest way to determine just exactly what brings people satisfaction and fulfillment. Conventional survey concerns – having a prespecified group of reaction options – might not capture crucial types of meaning.

To tackle this subject, Pew Research Center carried out two split studies in belated 2017. The very first included an open-ended concern asking Us citizens to spell it out in their own personal terms why is their everyday lives feel significant, fulfilling or satisfying. This method offers respondents an possibility to explain the array things they find significant, from jobs, faith and family members, to hobbies, pets, travel, music being outside.

The survey that is second a pair of closed-ended (also called forced-choice) questions asking Americans to speed just how much meaning and satisfaction they draw from all of 15 feasible sources identified because of the study group. In addition included concern asking which of those sources offers participants the absolute most meaning and satisfaction. This process provides a small variety of choices but offers a measure regarding the general value Americans destination on different sourced elements of meaning within their everyday lives.

The most popular answer is clear and consistent: Americans are most likely to mention family when asked what makes life meaningful in the open-ended question, and they are most likely to report that they find “a great deal” of meaning in spending time with family in the closed-ended question across both surveys. (more…)