Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_544-1


Pleasure is the subjective state, or states, of experienced enjoyment. It can be thought of as the “liking” component of reward, which distinguishes it from the “desire” and “learning” components. Multiple terms are used to differentiate pleasure of various types or intensities; these include liking, delight, and ecstasy. Common sources of pleasure are sexual and other sensual activity, positive social interaction, eating, and engagement with nature and the arts. However, deriving pleasure from a particular stimulus is an interplay between properties of the stimulus and the individual: no stimulus is found to be equally pleasurable by all people. As well as between-individual differences, the pleasurable aspect of a particular stimulus varies in a state-specific way for any given person.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of PsychologySouthern Cross UniversityCoffs HarbourAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland