Meaning and its manifestations: The meaning system

Shulamith Kreitler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter is designed to serve as an introduction to the Kreitler meaning system which is a theory and methodology for the conceptualization, assessment and various therapeutic applications of meaning. The first part deals with the definition of meaning, which is shown to be comprehensive and inclusive compared to other common definitions in psychology and related domains. The major constructs of the system of meaning are described: referent, meaning value, meaning unit and the six sets of meaning variables (i.e., meaning dimensions, types of relation, forms of relation, forms of expression, referent shifts and meta-meaning variables). The major properties of the meaning system are presented: operational activation, complexity, development, regressiveness, self-embeddedness, selectivity and dynamism. Its double nature as a static and dynamic system is described. The assessment of meaning by means of the meaning test and other methods is presented and the constructs of the meaning profile (of the individual, group or task) are defined. On the basis of a large empirical basis, the major phases and processes of meaning construction and meaning assignment characteristics are described, as well as manifestations and effects of meaning in the domains of cognition, personality and emotions. The final part is devoted to the theme of consciousness and states of consciousness which are conceptualized as specific structural transformations of the meaning system shaping cognition and other psychological manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConceptions of Meaning
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781633212428
ISBN (Print)9781633212411
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014


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