Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The development of the Meaning in Life Index (MILI) and its relationship with personality and religious behaviours and beliefs among UK undergraduate students

By Leslie J. Francis and P. R. Hills


The scales available for assessing meaning in life appear to be confounded with several related constructs, including purpose in life, satisfaction with life, and goal-directed behaviour. The Meaning in Life Index (MILI), a new instrument devised as a specific measure of meaning in life, was developed from responses to a pool of 22 items rated by a sample of 501 undergraduate students in Wales. The nine-item scale demonstrated sufficient face validity, internal consistency, and scale reliability to commend the instrument for future use. With respect to personality, the MILI scores were most strongly predicted by neuroticism (negatively), and less strongly by extraversion (positively) and psychoticism (negatively). With respect to several religious behavioural variables, those who attended church at least weekly returned significantly higher MILI scores than those who attended church less frequently. Intrinsic religiosity was the only orientation to be significantly associated with the MILI scale scores, although the magnitude of the association was smaller than anticipated. These results suggest that meaning in life is associated more strongly with individual differences in personality than with specific religious behaviours and attitudes. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of individual's personal values and attitudes that might underlie their experience of a meaning in life

Topics: LB2300, BF
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1996). A comparison of protestant ministers and 5 parishioners on expressed purpose in life and intrinsic religious motivation.
  2. (2003). A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology. doi
  3. (1965). A test for the measurement of self-actualisation.
  4. (1964). An experimental study in existentialism: the psychometric approach to Frankl‟s concept of noögenic neurosis. doi
  5. (1978). Conversion experience, belief systems and personal ethical attitudes.
  6. (2001). Handbook of positive psychology. doi
  7. (2007). Introducing the New Indices of Religious orientation (NIRO): conceptualisation and measurement. Mental Health, Religion and Culture (in press). 30 Meaning in life 12 doi
  8. (1969). Manual of instructions for the Purpose in Life test. Brookport, Ill.: Psychological Associates.
  9. (1975). Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. doi
  10. (1954). Motivation and personality. doi
  11. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. doi
  12. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. doi
  13. (1989). Psychoticism and purpose in life. doi
  14. (1975). Purpose in life and religious orientation.
  15. (1974). Purpose in life and the Eysenck Personality 20 Inventory. doi
  16. (1974). Purpose-in-Life Test and sex differences, doi
  17. (1988). Reliability and factorial validity of the Chinese version of the purpose in life questionnaire. doi
  18. Social desirability in the Purpose-in-Life Test. doi
  19. (1986). The association between religiosity and the Purpose-inLife test: does it reflect purpose or satisfaction?
  20. (1973). The development of meaning in life.
  21. (1955). The doctor and the soul. doi
  22. (1998). The Purpose-in-Life Test and religious denomination: Protestant and Catholic scores in an elderly population. doi
  23. (1968). The pursuit of meaning.
  24. (1965). The search for authenticity: an existential-analytic approach. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.