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Caring for loved ones may turn out to be evolutionarily embedded in the meaning of life.

According to a new study,published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, goals in life such as caring for loved ones can help discover the meaning of life. A number of previous studies have shown that if caring for relatives and loved ones is one of the life goals of a person, then it positively affects many aspects of well-being. At the same time, researchers found that younger generations are less concerned with finding life goals. Young people are increasingly less likely to interact with traditional structures such as the church, which traditionally dictated their basic life goals to society.

Probably, caring for loved ones is the main evolutionary goal in life

A purpose in life is often associated with greatachievements and existential beliefs, but recent theory suggests that ultimately the goal in life can testify to the successful achievement of basic evolutionary goals.

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Evolutionarily Significant Goals in Life

In the course of work, researchers from ArizonaUniversities were especially interested in learning about life goals such as protecting from danger, preventing disease, maintaining romantic relationships, accepting others, caring for family members, and achieving a certain social status. All of these goals, one way or another, are related to evolutionary fitness. Five studies in which 1993 people took part provided some evidence to support the hypothesis that the pursuit of evolutionarily significant goals is linked to having a goal in life. Subjects who agreed with statements such as “communication with others is very important to me”, “it is important for me that other people look at me” and “being with my family members is extremely important to me”, as a rule, reported about having a goal in life. Researchers also found that when intentions to achieve family and partner-related goals are recorded, this leads to an increase in goals in life.

The pursuit of goals contributes to the emergence of new goals and helps to find the meaning of life

According to PsyPost, the main conclusionresearch is that we can find the meaning of life by pursuing some of the basic social needs. In particular, the search and maintenance of relationships with a romantic partner, caring for the family and gaining the respect of others, seem to give a sense of purpose and even the meaning of life.

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Results from the lastStudies correlate with data from previous studies. Thus, the pursuit of a goal contributes to the discovery of a goal in life, which means that you can discover a goal based on basic social needs. And meeting basic needs does not require a particular worldview or devotion to any institution. The authors of the article note that their work did not want to downplay the significance of traditional sources of goals in life, such as the church, and did not set themselves the task of explaining the possible influence of religion on the purpose in life.