Samantha Heintzelman

Samantha Heintzelman


sh1318 [at]



Office Location

Smith Hall

Room 354

101 Warren St, Newark, NJ 07102

Office Hours

Th 4PM-5PM

Research Initiatives

Dr. Heintzelman’s research examines questions regarding the experience of meaning in life, such as “What makes life meaningful?” “Why is meaning in life a central human motivation?” and “What is the purpose of this feeling?” She has focused on coherence as a fundamental element of meaning in life and has found meaning in life to be a common experience linked to intuitive cognitive processes and related to behavioral routines.

Additionally, Dr. Heintzelman conducts both basic and applied research to address questions about another aspect of good lives—subjective well-being, or happiness—including: Can intervention sustainably increase happiness? Do long-term happiness changes have downstream positive effects across life domains? And how might happiness color the way we see the social world?


Selected Publications: (a full list of publications can be found at

Heintzelman, S. J. & King, L. A. (in press). Routines and meaning in life. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

*Kushlev, K., *Heintzelman, S. J., Lutes, L. D., Wirtz, D., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2017). ENHANCE: Design and rationale of a randomized controlled trial for promoting happiness. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 52, 62-74. *Co-first authors

Diener, E., Heintzelman, S. J., Kushlev, K., Tay, L., Wirtz, D., Lutes, L. D., Oishi, S. (2017). Findings all psychologists should know from the new science on subjective well-being. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 58, 87-104.

Heintzelman, S. J., & King, L. A. (2016). Meaning in life and intuition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 477-492.

King, L. A., Heintzelman, S. J., & Ward, S. J. (2016). Beyond the search for meaning:  The Contemporary Science of Meaning in Life. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 211-216.

Heintzelman, S. J., & King, L. A. (2014). Life is pretty meaningful. American Psychologist, 69, 561-574.

Heintzelman, S. J., & King, L. A. (2014). (The feeling of) meaning-as-information. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, 153-167.