Play Room
May 27, Saturday
11:30 – 13:30
Budapest (CEST)

Transcending Purpose: Purposeless Meaning in Life

IEC Conference: 2023

Novel research explored how two essential aspects of human experience relate to each other: (a) one’s stage of psychosocial maturity (operationalized through integral ego development stages), and (b) one’s conception and experience of meaning in their life. The study suggests that adults at postconventional stages of ego development experience and conceive of meaning-in-life in a qualitatively different way than those at earlier stages and, importantly, in a way that conflicts with the dominant psychological models and measures of meaning-in-life. Meaning for post-conventional adults contradicts or transcends the purpose, significance, and coherence requirements inherent in contemporary psychological scholarship on meaning-in-life. These results not only suggest the need for adjustment to existing meaning-in-life models, but also suggest that research and practice regarding all psychological phenomena (e.g., happiness, gender identity) should consider the effects of developmental diversity. An additional byproduct of the research is insight into the meaning-making of individuals at later stages of the integral ego development spectrum.


United States

With graduate degrees from Stanford, Harvard, and Fielding, Dr. Schneider has devoted three decades to service in various capacities: as trusted advisor, developmental and transformational coach, C-level executive, facilitator, educator, attorney, judge, arbitrator, and leader of two nonprofit organizations.

A life-long student of the mind, behavior, and human potential, Dr. Schneider has developed an expertise in adult development and education, as well as team and organizational transformation. Clients span five continents, from City mayors and small entrepreneurial ventures to multinational conglomerates, public agencies, and academic institutions. Dr. Schneider’s recent research explores the relationship between an adult’s stage of development and their experience and conception of meaning in their lives. He’s also focusing these days on transcending conception through perception and connection, and facilitating genuine collaborative exploration of truth, beauty, and goodness in the face of social constraints on authentic dialog.