"This study which involved looking at the brains of over 200 people who had been followed and regularly rested for around ten years before dying found that those who still functioned quite well despite the plaques and tangles were often those who had reported having a sense of purpose in life. Now this makes a kind of intuitive sense but it raises the problem of how do you do a randomised controlled trial of a sense of purpose?"This research highlights the importance of one of the human givens: "a sense of meaning and purpose - that comes from being stretched in what we do and think".
Despite the difficulties of testing for meaning and purpose with randomised controlled trials, the human givens approach has been promoting the importance of the need for meaning for many years. We consider the sense of meaning and purpose as pretty central to emotional wellbeing.
You can listen to Ivan Tyrrell summarising the essential emotional needs including a sense of meaning and purpose in this video about innate emotional needs:
Part 2 explains the innate resources that we have to meet these needs. Activating these resources to meet our innate needs are what psychotherapy and emotional wellbeing is all about: