Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Amir Ghoniem
  • Wilhelm Hofmann
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_501-1



Desires are motivations that “propel us to approach certain stimuli in our environment and engage in activities with them that provide us with a relative gain in immediate pleasure (including relief from discomfort)” (Hofmann et al. 2015, p. 62).


In our everyday lives, people frequently experience desires that spur human behaviors (Hofmann et al. 2012c). Desires can be broadly conceptualized as all wishes, wants, or aspirations one holds. A reasonably narrow definition of desire conceptualizes desire as appetitive desires which refer to motivations that drive us to approach certain stimuli in the environment or to engage in certain activities which promise pleasure or relief from displeasure or discomfort (Hofmann et al. 2015). Hence, in contrast to general motives (such as self-actualization motives or implicit motives), desires are more specific and refer to certain objects, people, or activities...


Internal Factor Ecological Momentary Assessment Implicit Motive Drug Craving Drug Relapse 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Cognition Center CologneUniversity of CologneCologneGermany