Purpose Research had its origin in 2006 as The Center for the Analysis, Evaluation, and Study of Academic Research (CAESAR). Several articles came out of this work, including published pieces addressing ethical issues in persistent vegetative states as well as assumptions involved in research on nature vs. nurture and on the efficacy of prayer.
Out of this exploratory process, Purpose Research was formally incorporated in 2009; its primary mission is to actively explore and present a dimensional understanding of the human being. This dimensional viewpoint was best expressed by Viktor Frankl, who stated that we live in a multidimensional world, to include soma (the physical body), psyche (our emotions and mind), and the noëtic (the human spirit). The noëtic dimension is defined by Frankl as “that which makes us different from the animals” and includes uniquely human concepts such as free will, responsibility, choice, and even the symbol systems for music, math, and science.
What is missing from research? The short answer is that meaning and purpose have been left out. All too often, the results of research present a limited view of the person. By examining what is missing, we can identify the boundaries of the conclusions. For example, when we hear on the news that alcoholism has been determined in a study of identical twins to be 70% genetic, the corollary is that the other 30% is caused by environmental factors. What has been left out of the equation? If 100% of the cause of substance abuse is attributable to genetics and environment, then where is choice, free will, responsibility? Such research removes the dignity and uniqueness of the individual; it subtly reinforces the idea that we are puppets of powerful forces. Instead of relegating the person to a plaything of fate, why are we not looking for a unique source of meaning and purpose that would be so powerful as to provide a fulcrum for transcending the addiction?
Purpose Research is committed to the development and dissemination of ideas, images, and dialogue that integrate this noëtic dimension in human living. We are also committed to the examination of hidden assumptions in research methods and human theory that preclude a full understanding of human experience.
We have a wide range of services and activities: research; research methodology; literature reviews; publishing services; development of training programs; presentations at regional, national, and international conferences; and publication of academic articles.