Creating a Meaningful Life: Psychobiographical Investigations (CfP)

Call for Papers: 2021 (August) EJOP Special Issue (Download CfP)

Guest Editors:
Claude-Hélène Mayer (University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa),
Paul Fouché
(University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Republic of South Africa),
Roelf van Niekerk
(Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa),


Psychobiographical research focuses on the lives of extraordinary individuals and employs psychological theory to clarify and illuminate historically significant events, processes and contributions. In essence, psychobiographies are psychological biographies that offer explorative descriptions and interpretations of life history data.

During the last four decades psychobiographical research has developed into a vibrant and popular area of research and gained considerable international interest. The study of individuals is an intriguing and illuminating field in psychology that contributes to the understanding of individuals within their socio-cultural and historical contexts.

Extraordinary individuals have been studied from multiple perspectives. A range of methodological and theoretical approaches have been used to provide alternative interpretations of entire lives or selected life events. The meaning of life and how it is defined and created elucidate how actions and experiences are constructed and ultimately, how lives are lived. Psychobiographies on meaning-creation have, however, hardly been published to date.

Aims of This Special Issue

This special issue aims to fill the gap on meaning-creation in psychobiographical research. It particularly focuses on the meaning of life and significant events in the lives of extraordinary individuals.

Call for Contributions

This Special Issue seeks in-depth psychobiographical submission with particular interest in, but not limited to:

  • Meaning-making in the lives of extraordinary individuals;
  • Meaning-making in the lives of extraordinary women;
  • Meaning-making in the lives of individuals engaged in criminal behaviour;
  • The description and interpretation of meaning-making through multiple theoretical and methodological lenses;
  • Alternative approaches to the description and interpretation of meaning-making in the life of a particular extraordinary individual.

We invite contributions to the Special Issue to redefine the state-of-the-art in psychobiography.

Important Dates

Full article submissions deadline: December 31, 2020, expected publication date: August 2021.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission Process

Details about the author guidelines and submission process can be found here: 

Please specify in the cover letter the fact that the paper is a candidate for the special issue ‘Creating a meaningful life: Psychobiographical investigations’.


Download this Call for Papers