Making sense of September 11
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
First Committee Member
Charles S. Carver, Committee Chair
This study tested the construal of meaning making as composed of sense-making and benefit finding. Two hundred undergraduate participants wrote essays detailing their responses to the September 11th terrorist attacks, as well as completed measures indicating their levels of positive and negative mood, benefit finding, optimism, desire for control, generativity, foreshadowing, and the two components of meaning-making. Essays were coded for elements of meaning-making as well. The hypotheses with regard to meaning-making and positive and negative mood were partially supported: sense-making and benefit finding did associate positively with positive mood, and sense-making associated negatively with negative mood. However, benefit finding also associated positively with some aspects of negative mood. As expected, generativity predicted both sense-making and benefit finding. Interpretation of the results suggests that the September 11th attacks may bring appreciation to everyday life, but may also signal concerns for the future.
Petronis, Vida M., "Making sense of September 11" (2003). Dissertations from ProQuest. 1938.