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Abstract

We define the need for sense-making as the desire to find reliable connections between the objects, situations, and relationships that people encounter. We have proposed and tested that there are possible individual differences in the need for sense-making and that these individual differences are insightful in characterizing individuals and their behaviors. A correlational study (N = 229) showed that need for sense-making was positively related to self-esteem, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, and sense of control. Additionally, a higher need for sense-making was associated with greater perception of it as an important part of people’s identity. Thus, need for sense-making is relevant to understanding individual differences and can furthermore comprise a significant element of people’s identity. These results break new ground in the study of individual differences in the need for sense-making and can be of great importance in work and organizational psychology.
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