Surviving and Thriving: Fundamental Social Motives Provide Purpose in Life

Published on 2019-11-15T13:08:41Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Purpose in life (PIL) is often associated with grand achievements and existential beliefs, but recent theory suggests that it might ultimately track gainful pursuit of basic evolved goals. Five studies (<i>N</i> = 1,993) investigated the relationships between fundamental social motives and PIL. In Study 1, attribution of a life goal pursuit to disease avoidance, affiliation, or kin care motives correlated with higher PIL. Studies 2 and 3 found correlations of self-protection, disease avoidance, affiliation, mate retention, and kin care motives with PIL after controlling for potential confounds. Study 4 showed that writing about success in the status, mating, and kin care domains increased PIL. Study 5 replicated the effect for mating and kin care, but not for status. Results imply that fundamental motives link to PIL through a sense of progress, rather than raw desire. Overall, this set of studies suggests that pursuit of evolved fundamental goals contributes to a purposeful life.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Scott, Matthew J.; Cohen, Adam B. (2019): Surviving and Thriving: Fundamental Social Motives Provide Purpose in Life. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4740980.v1