The Psychology of Desire

ISBN 13: 9781462521609

The Psychology of Desire

9781462521609: The Psychology of Desire

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.

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About the Author:

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, 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

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