1st Edition

The Psychology of Desire

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ISBN 9781462521609
Published September 23, 2015 by Guilford Press
474 Pages

USD $91.00

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Book Description

Providing a comprehensive perspective on human desire, this volume brings together leading experts from multiple psychological subdisciplines. It addresses such key questions as how desires of different kinds emerge, how they influence judgment and decision making, and how problematic desires can be effectively controlled. Current research on underlying brain mechanisms and regulatory processes is reviewed. Cutting-edge measurement tools are described, including practical recommendations for their use. The book also examines pathological forms of desire and the complex relationship between desire and happiness. The concluding section analyzes specific applied domains--eating, sex, aggression, substance use, shopping, and social media.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Wilhelm Hofmann & Loran F. Nordgren
I. Basic Processes and Mechanisms
1. Elaborated Intrusion Theory: Explaining the Cognitive and Motivational Basis of Desire, Jackie Andrade, Jon May, Lotte van Dillen, & David J. Kavanagh
2. Grounding Desire and Motivated Behavior: A Theoretical Framework and Review of Empirical Evidence, Esther K. Papies & Lawrence W. Barsalou
3. Desire and Desire Regulation, Wilhelm Hofmann, Hiroki P. Kotabe, Kathleen D. Vohs, & Roy F. Baumeister
4. Desire over Time: The Multifaceted Nature of Satiation, Joseph P. Redden
5. The Measurement of Desires and Craving, Michael A. Sayette & Stephen J. Wilson
II. Neuroscience of Desire and Desire Regulation
6. Motivation and Pleasure in the Brain, Morten L. Kringelbach & Kent C. Berridge
7. Neuroscience of Desire Regulation, Richard B. Lopez, Dylan D. Wagner, & Todd F. Heatherton
8. Individual Differences in Desire and Approach Motivation, Eddie Harmon-Jones, Philip A. Gable, & Cindy Harmon-Jones
9. Developmental Changes in Reward Sensitivity and Cognitive Control across Adolescence: Implications for Desire, Adriana Galván
III. Desire, Judgment, and Decision Making
10. License to Sin: Reasoning Processes in Desire, Denise T. D. de Ridder, Jessie C. de Witt Huberts, & Catharine Evers
11. Perceptions of Desire: A Hot–Cold Empathy Gap Perspective, Rachel L. Ruttan & Loran F. Nordgren
12. Want–Should Conflict: A Synthesis of Past Research, T. Bradford Bitterly, Robert Mislavsky, Hengchen Dai, & Katherine L. Milkman
IV. Desire, Affect, and Well-Being
13. You Shall Not Always Get What You Want: The Consequences of Ambivalence toward Desires, Frenk van Harreveld, Hannah U. Nohlen, & Iris K. Schneider
14. Desires and Happiness: Aristotelian, Puritan, and Buddhist Approaches, Shigehiro Oishi, Erin Westgate, Jane Tucker, & Asuka Komiya
15. Liking Little, Wanting Less: On (Lacking) Desire in Psychopathology, Michael T. Treadway
V. Applied Content Domains
16. Desire for Food and the Power of Mind, Anne Roefs, Katrijn Houben, & Jessica Werthmann
17. Sexual Desire: Conceptualization, Correlates, and Causes, Pamela C. Regan
18. Aggressive Desires, Thomas F. Denson, Timothy P. Schofield, & Emma C. Fabiansson
19. The Role of Desire and Craving in Addiction, Ingmar H. A. Franken
20. Three Senses of Desire in Consumer Research, Utpal M. Dholakia
21. Old Desires, New Media, Diana I. Tamir & Adrian F. Ward

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Wilhelm Hofmann, PhD, is Professor of Social and Economic Cognition at the University of Cologne, Germany. He also has taught and conducted research at the University of Würzburg (Germany), the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Dr. Hofmann has written more than 60 professional publications, including two books. His research is concerned with desire, self-control, and moral behavior, particularly the emergence of impulses and desires, the role of executive functioning in self-control and health behavior, and the connection among self-control, morality, and happiness. In his methodological approach, he strives to combine the rigor of experimental research with the ecological validity and richness of behavioral data from everyday life.

Loran F. Nordgren, PhD, is Professor of Management and Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Codirector of the Human Ecology Lab at Northwestern, which aims to develop, extend, and test psychological theory through immersive field research. His research broadly considers the basic psychological processes that guide how we think and act. Much of Dr. Nordgren’s research examines how people maintain self-control in the face of desire, how people think about desire, and how people’s beliefs about desire inform their self-control strategies. He is a recipient of the Theoretical Innovation Award in Social Psychology from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. 


"Desire can overpower us, making a mockery of our efforts to diet, to focus, to be faithful. And yet, it also can make us soar, inspiring invention, heroism, poetry. Hofmann and Nordgren have recruited the most respected authorities and have worked with them to create a brilliant, innovative book. If you’re interested in understanding the essence of human experience, this magnificent volume is for you. This book is ideal for scholars and students interested in goal pursuit, self-regulation, neuroscience, craving, dieting, aggression--the list goes on."--Eli J. Finkel, PhD, Department of Psychology and Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"This volume broadens our view of human behavior and motivation. As the chapters convincingly demonstrate, behavior not only is a function of its anticipated consequences, but also must be understood as being directed and propelled by immediate desires with deep evolutionary roots. The contributors are outstanding experts in both basic and applied areas of psychology."--Fritz Strack, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Würzburg, Germany

"An essential handbook for graduate students and researchers interested in the elusive construct of desire. As a desire researcher myself, I feel sure that this is a book I will keep within arm's reach, and refer to--and learn from--again and again. Combining theory and practical implications, the book touches on a variety of substantive domains, from eating behavior to luxury brand strategy. It provides a 360-degree view of the multifaceted nature of desire. I will list this book as a reference for my doctoral seminar in consumer behavior."--Vanessa Patrick, PhD, Bauer Professor of Marketing and Director of Doctoral Programs, C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

"Is the pursuit of desires (related to food, sex, money, drugs, aggression) inherently adaptive or maladaptive? The growing consensus in the field of psychological science is that the answer is somewhere in between--the adaptiveness of desires is highly dependent upon context. This volume presents a compelling and thought-provoking account of the latest research identifying how, when, and for whom the pursuit of desires can contribute to a healthy and meaningful life. It will inspire clinical scientists to conceptualize their patients’ struggles as stemming from difficulties managing desires in a context-dependent way."--Amelia Aldao, PhD, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University

"An outstandingly good example of how integration across some traditional boundaries of biological, social, and cognitive psychology can be achieved. The chapters are written in a consistently clear and jargon-free way, such that students or researchers alike could read them with great benefit. A whole range of different desires are discussed. Development of desire and lack of desire in depression are very well represented. Not surprisingly, given the editors' research expertise, a recurrent theme of the book is the conflict between giving in to temptation and restraint in the interests of long-term gain. A rich supply of cross-referencing means that links between different chapters become readily apparent. The editors have accomplished a mammoth task in bringing this book together in such a cohesive fashion. I very strongly recommend it."--Frederick M. Toates, DPhil, DSc, Professor Emeritus of Biological Psychology, The Open University, United Kingdom