Research findings

Definition and concept of the meaning of life

How do Austrians perceive the meaning of life?

In January 2024 295 Austrians were surveyed on behalf of the “Im-Fokus” report for m.core/WU Vienna. This time, the survey was about the definition of the meaning of life.

In the following chart, respondents were asked to indicate how strongly they agreed with the various statements:

Does the concept of “meaning in life” have anything to do with age, gender or level of education?

Participants were also asked how much they agreed with the following statements:

Older people are more likely to say that they understand what gives meaning to their lives; r(293)=.166, p<.01. People with higher incomes are more likely to say that the physical things they own give meaning to their lives; r(293)=.166, p<.01. The degree of agreement with the statement that physical things give meaning to life is negatively related to the level of education; r(293)=-.122, p<.05. There are no significant differences with regard to gender.

The survey was answered by 295 participants (50.85% female, 49.15% male), with an average age of 44.79% (standard deviation 13.68).

Find the full study in German here!


published: 01.03.2024

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