pleasure pain principle


Summary: The psychoanalytic concept that man instinctively seeks to avoid pain and discomfort and strives for gratification and pleasure.

Top Publications

  1. Symington N. Sanity and madness. Int J Psychoanal. 2006;87:1059-68 pubmed
    ..He claims that this is not possible without revising Freud's pleasure principle and determinism and replacing it with desire for freedom as the dominant motivating principle. ..
  2. Ide S, Minami M, Satoh M, Sora I, Ikeda K. [Distinct mechanisms underlying pleasure and analgesia]. Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2005;125:11-5 pubmed
  3. Holmes D, Warner D. The anatomy of a forbidden desire: men, penetration and semen exchange. Nurs Inq. 2005;12:10-20 pubmed
  4. Bleichmar H. Making conscious the unconscious in order to modify unconscious processing: some mechanisms of therapeutic change. Int J Psychoanal. 2004;85:1379-400 pubmed
    ..A clinical vignette is included to illustrate some of the theoretical and technical aspects considered. ..
  5. Bokanowski T. Variations on the concept of traumatism: traumatism, traumatic, trauma. Int J Psychoanal. 2005;86:251-65 pubmed
    ..The author illustrates his hypotheses with a clinical example. ..
  6. Grotstein J. Dreaming as a 'curtain of illusion': revisiting the 'royal road' with Bion as our guide. Int J Psychoanal. 2009;90:733-52 pubmed publisher
    ..He further believes that the analyst dreams as he or she listens and interprets and that the analysand likewise dreams while he or she freely associates. ..
  7. Jabbi M, Bastiaansen J, Keysers C. A common anterior insula representation of disgust observation, experience and imagination shows divergent functional connectivity pathways. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e2939 pubmed publisher
    ..Using effective connectivity, this shared region however was found to be embedded in distinct functional circuits during the three modalities, suggesting why observing, imagining and experiencing an emotion feels so different. ..
  8. Higgins E. Value from hedonic experience and engagement. Psychol Rev. 2006;113:439-60 pubmed
    ..Implications of the contribution of engagement strength to value are discussed for judgment and decision making, persuasion, and emotional experiences. ..
  9. Pelled E. Learning from experience: Bion's concept of reverie and Buddhist meditation. A comparative study. Int J Psychoanal. 2007;88:1507-26 pubmed
    ..Both view the mind as capable of transcending its own restrictions and 'the capacity to know anything' as attainable through disciplined practice. ..

More Information


  1. Moseley G, Arntz A. The context of a noxious stimulus affects the pain it evokes. Pain. 2007;133:64-71 pubmed
    ..Different dimensions of the stimulus' context can have differential effects on sensory-discriminative and affective-emotional components of pain. ..
  2. Fisher J. The emotional experience of K. Int J Psychoanal. 2006;87:1222-37 pubmed
    ..It concludes that one important aspect of what Bion called -K is an attack on a K-state-of-mind by an intrusion of L/H which has the effect of contaminating and dominating the urge to know. ..
  3. Bimbela Pedrola J. [Pleasure and health]. Gac Sanit. 2003;17:440 pubmed
  4. Rabia M, Knauper B, Miquelon P. The eternal quest for optimal balance between maximizing pleasure and minimizing harm: the compensatory health beliefs model. Br J Health Psychol. 2006;11:139-53 pubmed
    ..Moreover, future research using the model and implications for possible interventions are discussed. ..
  5. Orlandini A. Repetition compulsion in a trauma victim: is the "analgesia principle" beyond the pleasure principle? Clinical implications. J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2004;32:525-40 pubmed
    ..Clinical material is provided. ..
  6. Sloan D. Emotion regulation in action: emotional reactivity in experiential avoidance. Behav Res Ther. 2004;42:1257-70 pubmed
    ..These findings are interpreted as reflecting an emotion regulation attempt by high EA participants when confronted with unpleasant emotionally-evocative stimuli. ..
  7. Esch T, Stefano G. The neurobiology of pleasure, reward processes, addiction and their health implications. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2004;25:235-51 pubmed
    ..However, more research is needed to better understand the nature, neurobiology and maybe dangerous aspects of pleasure. Also, a possible involvement of endogenous morphinergic signaling has to be studied further. ..
  8. Forster J, Higgins E, Idson L. Approach and avoidance strength during goal attainment: regulatory focus and the "goal looms larger" effect. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998;75:1115-31 pubmed
  9. Martins J, Robazzi M. [Feelings of pleasure and suffering of teachers in the implementation of a curriculum]. Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2006;27:284-90 pubmed
  10. Baumeister A. Serendipity and the cerebral localization of pleasure. J Hist Neurosci. 2006;15:92-8 pubmed
    ..This episode in the history of neuroscience illustrates the importance of sagacity in serendipitous scientific discoveries. It also shows that "mental preparedness" can be an obstacle to progress. ..
  11. Botti S, Lyengar S. The psychological pleasure and pain of choosing: when people prefer choosing at the cost of subsequent outcome satisfaction. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004;87:312-26 pubmed
    ..Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. ..
  12. Kemp A, Gray M, Silberstein R, Armstrong S, Nathan P. Augmentation of serotonin enhances pleasant and suppresses unpleasant cortical electrophysiological responses to visual emotional stimuli in humans. Neuroimage. 2004;22:1084-96 pubmed
    ..The findings suggest a possible neurophysiological mechanism underlying antidepressant drug action on emotion. ..
  13. Robinson T, Berridge K. Addiction. Annu Rev Psychol. 2003;54:25-53 pubmed
  14. Wilkinson I. Common cent$ 14: Pleasure, pain, and the economics of motivation. Clin Leadersh Manag Rev. 2003;17:288-9 pubmed
  15. Race K. The use of pleasure in harm reduction: perspectives from the history of sexuality. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:417-23 pubmed
    ..It also enables a more dynamic and responsive approach to the practice of bodies and pleasures. ..
  16. McNamee M. Nursing Schadenfreude: the culpability of emotional construction. Med Health Care Philos. 2007;10:289-99 pubmed
    ..I argue that we are active in the construction of our emotional experiences of Schadenfreude, how we may indeed 'nurse' the emotion, and thus become culpable for them in ethical terms. ..
  17. Stolk E, Brouwer W, Busschbach J. Rationalising rationing: economic and other considerations in the debate about funding of Viagra. Health Policy. 2002;59:53-63 pubmed
    ..In this paper, we try to demonstrate how these criteria were presented in the Viagra discussion and we will indicate how these criteria can be operationalised in relation to the outcomes of a cost-effectiveness analysis. ..
  18. Kashdan T. The neglected relationship between social interaction anxiety and hedonic deficits: differentiation from depressive symptoms. J Anxiety Disord. 2004;18:719-30 pubmed
    ..These data provide some evidence for an association between social interaction anxiety and hedonic deficits that is not attributable to covariance with other internalizing conditions. ..
  19. Keane H. Pleasure and discipline in the uses of Ritalin. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:401-9 pubmed
    ..The question of the correct use of Ritalin remains ultimately uncertain because of the heterogeneous and ambiguous nature of the scientific and medical discourses on psychoactive drugs. ..
  20. Dwyer R. Privileging pleasure: temazepam injection in a heroin marketplace. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:367-74 pubmed
  21. Leknes S, Tracey I. A common neurobiology for pain and pleasure. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9:314-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Understanding the mutually inhibitory effects that pain and reward processing have on each other, and the neural mechanisms that underpin such modulation, is important for alleviating unnecessary suffering and improving well-being. ..
  22. Brenner C. Aspects of psychoanalytic theory: drives, defense, and the pleasure-unpleasure principle. Psychoanal Q. 2008;77:707-17 pubmed
    ..Elements of this theory that seem invalid are identified and discussed, and revisions are proposed that appear to have more validity and greater clinical usefulness. ..
  23. Mellers B. Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychol Bull. 2000;126:910-24 pubmed
    ..Research on disappointment and regret has provided both empirical and theoretical insights. Many researchers now realize that the predictability of the emotions that follow from decisions is as important as the predictability of choice. ..
  24. Riediger M, Schmiedek F, Wagner G, Lindenberger U. Seeking pleasure and seeking pain: differences in prohedonic and contra-hedonic motivation from adolescence to old age. Psychol Sci. 2009;20:1529-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Implications for understanding affective development are discussed. ..
  25. Stefano G, Stefano J, Esch T. Anticipatory stress response: a significant commonality in stress, relaxation, pleasure and love responses. Med Sci Monit. 2008;14:RA17-21 pubmed
    ..Therefore, love and relaxation responses may be considered as intrinsic health promoting physiological capabilities. ..
  26. Paukert A, Pettit J, Amacker A. The role of interdependence and perceived similarity in depressed affect contagion. Behav Ther. 2008;39:277-85 pubmed publisher
    ..It appears that participants with more interdependent self-construals were more likely to "catch" the low positive affect displayed by the depressed target only if they perceived themselves as highly similar to the target. ..
  27. Robertson S, Hopko D. Experiential avoidance: a moderator of the relationship between age and emotional expression. Aging Ment Health. 2009;13:611-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Research and clinical implications are discussed. ..
  28. MacLean S. Volatile bodies: stories of corporeal pleasure and damage in marginalised young people's drug use. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:375-83 pubmed
    ..Education provided through drug treatment presents an opportunity to counter some of the harms associated with narratives of pleasure and damage in drug use. ..
  29. Lee L, Knight B. Attentional bias for threat in older adults: moderation of the positivity bias by trait anxiety and stimulus modality. Psychol Aging. 2009;24:741-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Anxiety influenced older adults' attention such that anxious individuals demonstrated a vigilant-avoidant reaction to sad faces but an avoidant-vigilant reaction to negative words. ..
  30. Larsen A. [Neurophysiology of pleasure]. Duodecim. 2004;120:2783-7 pubmed
  31. Idson L, Liberman N, Higgins E. Imagining how you'd feel: the role of motivational experiences from regulatory fit. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004;30:926-37 pubmed
    ..Thus, to understand fully what it means to feel good or bad about a prospective choice, motivational experiences from regulatory fit must be considered. ..
  32. Keil A, Freund A. Changes in the sensitivity to appetitive and aversive arousal across adulthood. Psychol Aging. 2009;24:668-80 pubmed publisher
    ..e., the relationship between displeasure and arousal). These results extend previous work on emotional development, adding information as to the role of emotional intensity for affective experience in different age groups. ..
  33. Page R, Brewster A. Depiction of food as having drug-like properties in televised food advertisements directed at children: portrayals as pleasure enhancing and addictive. J Pediatr Health Care. 2009;23:150-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings raise concern about the presence of this content in televised food advertisements targeting children and serve to alert pediatric health professionals and other child health advocates to take a closer look at this issue. ..
  34. Roper J. Drug-endangered children and the manufacture of methamphetamine. School Nurse News. 2007;24:27-9 pubmed
  35. Hudson J. What kinds of people should we create?. J Appl Philos. 2000;17:131-43 pubmed
    ..The sex drive, having outlived its usefulness, will probably be replaced by some other source of pleasure. As a side effect of these changes in people, the arts and social sciences will be transformed beyond recognition. ..
  36. Aisenstein M. The indissociable unity of psyche and soma: a view from the Paris Psychosomatic School. Int J Psychoanal. 2006;87:667-80 pubmed
    ..He provides a starting point for the Paris Psychosomatic School's psychoanalytical approach to patients afflicted with somatic illnesses. To illustrate the technical implications of this theory the author relates two clinical cases. ..
  37. Wallis L. Breaking the chain. Nurs Stand. 2008;22:20-1 pubmed
    ..The method of smoking cessation devised by the late Allen Carr has many devotees--and some detractors. ..
  38. Sokol Hessner P, Hsu M, Curley N, Delgado M, Camerer C, Phelps E. Thinking like a trader selectively reduces individuals' loss aversion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:5035-40 pubmed publisher
  39. Myers J. A comparison of the theory of unpleasant symptoms and the conceptual model of chemotherapy-related changes in cognitive function. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2009;36:E1-10 pubmed publisher
  40. Coimbra V, da Silva E, Kantorski L, Oliveira M. [Mental health and the nurse's work]. Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2005;26:42-9 pubmed
    ..Knowing the factors that propitiate mental health, pleasure, suffering at work opens up possibilities of changes for nursing activity, contributing to the struggle for more human and fair work labor issues. ..
  41. Masullo A. On this side of language, pain. J Nephrol. 2008;21 Suppl 13:S18-23 pubmed
    ..I, you, we have a dialog; I, you, we love each other; I, you and we have delight in each other. Therefore anyone of us has pleasure since the others have pleasure. Physical pain breaks this essential reciprocity. ..
  42. Foddy B, Savulescu J. Addiction is not an affliction: addictive desires are merely pleasure-oriented desires. Am J Bioeth. 2007;7:29-32 pubmed
  43. Meehl P. Primary and secondary hypohedonia. J Abnorm Psychol. 2001;110:188-93 pubmed
    ..To choose between causal interpretations, it could be ascertained whether the schizotypal anhedonic taxon is composed of individuals who are schizotaxic on the basis of psychophysiological, cognitive, and soft neurologic indicators. ..
  44. Fernandez Torres B, Márquez Espinós C, de las Mulas Bejar M. [Controversies surrounding pain and inhalation anesthesia in nineteenth century Spain]. Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 2001;48:235-43 pubmed
    ..Investigation into the authors' biographies and an analysis of the content of the articles has permitted us to reconstruct some aspects of the concept of pain in Spain in the middle of the nineteenth century. ..
  45. Naragon Gainey K, Watson D, Markon K. Differential relations of depression and social anxiety symptoms to the facets of extraversion/positive emotionality. J Abnorm Psychol. 2009;118:299-310 pubmed publisher
    ..Implications for hierarchical models of personality and psychopathology, assessment and treatment, and etiological models are discussed. ..
  46. Valentine K, Fraser S. Trauma, damage and pleasure: rethinking problematic drug use. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:410-6 pubmed
    ..Common distinctions between kinds of drug use, such as problematic and recreational, are less useful than is normally thought. ..
  47. Kerfoot E, Agarwal I, Lee H, Holland P. Control of appetitive and aversive taste-reactivity responses by an auditory conditioned stimulus in a devaluation task: a FOS and behavioral analysis. Learn Mem. 2007;14:581-9 pubmed
    ..Thus, through associative learning, auditory cues for food gained access to neural processing in several brain regions importantly involved in the processing of taste memory information. ..
  48. Danilova V, Hellekant G. Sense of taste in a New World monkey, the common marmoset. II. Link between behavior and nerve activity. J Neurophysiol. 2004;92:1067-76 pubmed
    ..85. This study supports our hypothesis that intake is influenced by S and Q fibers, where S fibers serve as a hedonically positive input and Q fibers as a hedonically negative input. ..
  49. Holt M, Treloar C. Pleasure and drugs. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:349-52 pubmed publisher
  50. Higgins E. Beyond pleasure and pain. Am Psychol. 1997;52:1280-300 pubmed
    ..g., cognitive dissonance). Then, regulatory focus is distinguished from regulatory anticipation and regulatory reference, 2 other principles underlying the different ways that people approach pleasure and avoid pain. ..
  51. Chambers R, Bickel W, Potenza M. A scale-free systems theory of motivation and addiction. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2007;31:1017-45 pubmed
    ..This model may inform integrative research in defining more effective prevention and treatment strategies for addiction. ..
  52. Duff C. The pleasure in context. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:384-92 pubmed
    ..Greater understanding of these relationships should also facilitate the emergence of new, context specific, drug prevention and harm reduction initiatives. ..
  53. Cunningham W, Raye C, Johnson M. Neural correlates of evaluation associated with promotion and prevention regulatory focus. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2005;5:202-11 pubmed