The following is a video, prepared for the general public, explaining the study:
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure existential authenticity in adults. Existential authenticity was defined as awareness of the existential givens in the human experience as defined by Irvin Yalom. This construct is theorized as the goal of existential psychotherapy, which is a meaning-centered psychotherapy aligned with the purpose of providing clients with the tools to cope with negativities and live a meaningful life. Many diagnostic conditions, including depression, psychological trauma, and anxiety, are conceptualized as amenable to the benefits of existential psychotherapy and the journey towards existential authenticity. A review of the literature revealed that a tool for measuring existential authenticity did not exist. An initial pool of test items was developed using Yalom’s definitions. Content validity was determined by expert input and the resulting 49-item survey was administered online to 222 test subjects. Recruitment was conducted via post card mailed to a random sample of the Greater Cincinnati Geographic Region. Participants were predominantly female (77.5%), Caucasian (81.5%), married (56.7%), well educated (23.9% with a graduate or professional degree), and with a mean age of 45.3. Factor analysis revealed one factor consistent with the theoretical underpinnings of the work, captured in a 12-item index. Internal consistency reliability in the current sample was good (Cronbach’s alpha = .871). Evaluation of the psychometric properties demonstrated a promising index although further development is required. The data are consistent with an instrument in the beginning stages of development.
Keywords: existential, authenticity, scale development, awareness, psychological theory