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Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added a research item
Since the origin of life, animals have behaved so as to seek environments favorable for their physiology and survival. All basic physiological needs are met by behaviors, and, of course, the fi rst stage of sexual reproduction is also behavioral. Behavior is therefore the fi rst and most powerful response by an animal to achieve its physiological aims and maximize its chance of survival. The adaptation of behavior to the physiological needs is made possible because the central nervous system receives useful information on the state of the environment as well as that of the body itself (Figure 2.1). The present chapter deals with the way these signals participate in the various physiological regulations that maintain a stable milieu intérieur through behavior. A deliberate mentalistic attitude is adopted in the following. Such an approach proved fruitful for the understanding of the role of pleasure in the case of decision making when non-physiological motivations enter into play (Cabanac, 1992). The present chapter, however, concentrates only on sensory pleasure. The mechanisms described will be mostly short term, but the long term will also be envisaged. Physiology and Behavior From the time of the Greek philosophers for whom behavior was biology, there has been a continuous tradition for consideration of behavior as a part of physiology. The fi rst students of what we now consider to be the Figure 2.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 2 research items
Many psychologists think that there are few basic emotions, and most emotions are combinations of these few. Here we advance a hypothesis that the number of principally different emotions is near infinite. We consider emotions as mental states with hedonic content, indicating satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Basic emotions correspond to bodily signals, and there are relatively few of them. Our hypothesis is that a large number of emotions are related to the knowledge instinct (KI, or a need for knowledge). KI drives the mind to fit mental representations to cognitive experiences and to resolve mental contradictions. Discomfort due to holding contradictory knowledge elements are known as cognitive dissonances. We emphasize that cognitive dissonances involve specific emotions. The number of cognitive dissonances is combinatorial in terms of elements of knowledge. Correspondingly, the number of these knowledge-related emotions is very large. We report experimental results on measuring these emotions and indicating that emotions of cognitive dissonance exist. We also make a step toward proving that these emotions are different from basic emotions in principle, and outline future research directions toward proving that their number is large.
Alexander Ovsich
added a research item
The main objective of this chapter is to present new, closely linked mathematical models of desire, need, and attention. According to Spinoza (1674/1955), "Love is nothing else but pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause : Hate is nothing else but pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause" (p. 140). The author posits that desire is nothing else, but a change of pleasure accompanied by the idea of its cause. These definitions are so close, because loving/liking and desiring are two facets of the same process that author calls “Hedonic Recognition” – the terms ‘desire’, ‘want’ and their cognates are used to describe change of the pleasantness of the state of a subject associated with X, while the terms ‘love’/’like’ and their cognates are used to describe the hedonic end result of this change. If X causes a positive/negative change, then X is called “desirable”/ “undesirable” correspondingly. Some support for this view on desire can be found in the classical literature, for example, in the writings of Aristotle and Locke; it also has some experimental backing (Ovsich & Cabanac, 2012). The author finds verification of this idea in the analysis of the process of needs satisfaction that has a typical pattern: dissatisfaction of a need for X creates desire for X by lowering current pleasantness of the state of a subject (pangs of hunger, pain of the withdrawal from a drug, etc.) while, at the same time, usually raising pleasantness of perceiving or even imagining X. These two simultaneous processes make X to be a factor of maximization of pleasantness, make X desirable. In other words, this creates the positive hedonic gap between the pleasantness of a state of a subject with and without X and this gap is called “desire for X”. The magnitude of the hedonic gap of desire is the measure of X’s desirability or desire strength; it increases with growth of dissatisfaction of the need for X, that in the terminology of this theory means that desire for X gets stronger. The exact opposite happens with the satisfaction of a need. Desires attract attention of a subject to their objects. For example, objects of a dissatisfied need come to the attention of a subject more and more persistently with the growth of this need’s dissatisfaction. If a need is grossly dissatisfied, then objects and activities of satisfaction of this need can dominate the center of attention of a subject, consume attention. In the first approximation, the stronger the desire is for X, the more attention X gets and this proportionality is explored in this chapter. Voluntary attention is driven by the will effort that can suppress or support competing desires. This mechanism is addressed here in the framework consistent with William James’s (1927) approach.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 3 research items
Ten healthy human males volunteered to be subjects in an experiment in which they were to be paid to endure a painful sensation. This sensation was produced by isometric muscular contraction in the thighs. For each of six sessions the subjects received either a payment that was changed for each session (0.2, 0.5, 1.25, 3.125, 7.8125 French francs per 20 s) or a lump sum. At the beginning of a session, the subjects assumed a seated position against a wall, but without a seat, and the duration for which they could hold this position was the chief variable measured. Heart rate, blood pressure, and magnitude estimation of pain were also recorded periodically throughout each session. Pain was reported after a mean delay of 15 +/- 7 s (SE), and the magnitude estimates then increased linearly with time. The duration of maintaining the painful position increased linearly in relation to the logarithm of the increase in the amount of payment. Thus, utility of money decreased when pitted against pain.
At present as physiologists studying various homeostatic behaviors, such as thermoregulatory behavior and food and fluid intake, we have no common currency that allows us to equate the strength of the motivational drive that accompanies each regulatory need, in terms of how an animal or a person will choose to satisfy his needs when there is a conflict between two or more of them. Yet the behaving organism must rank his priorities and needs a common currency to achieve the ranking (McFarland & Sibly, 1975, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 270 Biol 265-293). A theory is proposed here according to which pleasure is this common currency. The perception of pleasure, as measured operationally and quantitatively by choice behavior (in the case of animals), or by the rating of the intensity of pleasure or displeasure (in the case of humans) can serve as such a common currency. The tradeoffs between various motivations would thus be accomplished by simple maximization of pleasure. In what follows, the scientific work arising recently on this subject, with be reviewed briefly and our recent experimental findings will be presented. This will serve as the support for the theoretical position formulated in this essay.
The word alliesthesia (Greek Allios changed and -esthesia sensation) is applied to the affective component of sensation, pleasure or displeasure. The amount of pleasure or displeasure aroused by a given stimulus is not invariable—it depends on the internal state of the stimulated subject. Factors that can modify the internal state and in turn induce alliesthesia are as follows: internal physiological variables (e.g., deep body temperature or body dehydration modify the pleasure of thermal sensation or taste of water); set points (e.g., during fever the body temperature set point is raised and pleasure defends the elevated set point); multiple peripheral stimuli (e.g., mean skin temperature determines the set point for deep body temperature and in turn generates alliesthesia); and past history of the subject (e.g., association of a flavor with a disease or a recovery from disease renders it unpleasant or pleasant). Positive alliesthesia indicates a change to a more pleasurable sensation; negative alliesthesia a change to a less pleasurable one.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 4 research items
In response to a stimulus, a sensation is tridimensional: qualitative, quantitative, and affective. The affective part of sensation, pleasure or displeasure, depends on the qualities of the stimulus. Within a narrow range of intensity, chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli are able to arouse pleasure. In addition, pleasure depends on the internal state of the subject. This is easily observed in the case of temperature: pleasure is aroused by a warm stimulus in a hypothermic subject and by a cold stimulus in a hyperthermic subject. This property of a given stimulus to arouse pleasure or displeasure according to the internal state of the subject is termed alliethesia. Alliesthesia is also produced by chemical and mechanical stimuli. Acquired preferences or aversions for alimentary stimuli represent a case of alliesthesia. In the same way, the capacity of any indifferent stimulus to become rewarding, or punishing, by association with some reward or punishment, is also a case of alliethesia. In all cases, pleasure is a sign of a stimulus useful to the subject; displeasure a sign of danger. Usefulness and danger are judged by the central nervous system with reference to homeostasis and the set point of the implied regulation. Pleasure and displeasure thus appear to motivate useful behaviors.
This chapter focuses on physiological signals for thermal comfort. There is a close correlation between thermoregulatory behavior and the motivation for this behavior, if the subject has no other priorities. While it is unlikely that behavior occurs without motivation, motivation can occur in the absence of behavior; this divorce may occur even in well-planned experiments. Such dissociation between motivation and its behavioural expression has been emphasized in other types of behaviors, such as food intake. Thermal comfort, as other conscious perceptions, is a mental phenomenon; it is, therefore, a function of the nervous system in the human, as in other species. This system, which permits the perception of thermal comfort, is shown in greatly simplified forms. The strong influence of internal temperature on the perception of thermal comfort is shown by responses and ratings given by subjects immersed in a water bath. One of the primary components of thermal comfort is the pleasure aroused by a peripheral stimulus; this, in turn, depends on internal temperature.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 4 research items
Baron has provided some examples of nonconsequentialism in decision making and describes them as biases; these may be the remnants of the biological origin of decision making. One may argue that decisions are made on the basis not of rationality but affective processes. Behavior follows the trend toward maximizing pleasure. This mechanism might explain apparent nonconsequentialism.
Tested the hypothesis that pleasure signals efficacious mental activity. In Exp 1, 10 male Ss (aged 10–62 yrs) played video-golf on a computer. After each hole Ss rated their pleasure or displeasure on a magnitude estimation scale. Ss' ratings of pleasure correlated negatively with the difference par minus performance, i. e., the better the performance the greater the pleasure reported. In Exps 2 and 3, the pleasure of reading poems was correlated with comprehension and both rated by 2 groups of 12 science and arts graduate students. In the majority of science students pleasure was significantly correlated with comprehension. Only one arts student showed this relationship; this result suggests that the proposed relationship between pleasure and cognitive efficiency is not tautological. Results support the hypothesis that pleasure is aroused by the same mechanisms, and follows the same laws, in physiological and cognitive mental tasks and also leads to the optimization of performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 8 research items
The physiological and behavioral responses to hypocaloric diet are to increase energy intake to defend a steady body weight. We utilized the method of "negative alliesthesia" for measuring the hedonic reponse to sweet stimulus before (Initial session) and 3 months after entering a weight loss program. The negative alliesthesia test is known by physiologists but few clinical data exist. It is based on the observation that repeated pleasant gustatory stimuli turn into unpleasantness in the process of alliesthesia. At first visit participants repeatedly ingested sweet stimuli until they found them unpleasant and rated quantitatively on a linear analogue scale their hedonic experience. This procedure was repeated every 3 min until participants felt displeasure to end the session. The same protocol was followed after three months of following a weight loss diet. Dieting energy intake was from 1400 - 2000 kcal/d for 8 wk. Energy composition was 50% carb:25% prot: 25% lipid. After 8 wk caloric intake increased by 50 kcal/wk, to reach daily intake of 1800 - 2400 kcal/d. Energy composition was 50% carb:22% prot: 27% lipid. We report results on the effect of slow weight loss on negative alliesthesia in ten obese female participants enrolled in a commercial diet program based on Canada's Food Guide (Mincavi). Results showed that diet lowered the mean BMI (Initial session 36.8 +/- 1.8 vs. 3 mo 34.9 +/- 1.8 kg/m2). At 3 mo the onset of negative alliesthesia, time to abandon experimental session, was shortened (Initial session 33 vs. 3 mo 24 min). The same trend was observed in the time to reach indifference (Initial session 21.9 +/- 3.8 vs. 3 mo 16.2 +/-2.4 min). There was no observed difference in maximum (Initial session +79.5 +/- 11.7; 3 mo +94.5 +/- 9.9 mm) and minimum (Initial session -90.0 +/- 14.4; 3 mo -106 +/- 11.1 mm) hedonic rating. Earlier onset of negative alliesthesia, as seen in our participants, is not consistent with previous hedonic studies that showed delayed or absent negative alliesthesia in participants when below their initial body weight. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the accelerated onset of negative alliesthesia observed in our obese participants after weight loss is suggestive of a lowered body weight set-point. Factors inherent to the weight loss diet studied here, such as mild energetic restriction, lowered palatability, and diet composition, may have played a role in this experimental outcome.
Après une définition de bonheur on examine si les commandements des grandes religions permettent un accès au bonheur.
As obesity becomes increasingly prevalent, many people are trying to control their body weight through dieting, with mitigated results. We analyzed the impact of weight loss on food choice by recording the grocery basket composition of 100 participants, using their grocery receipts. Participants also anonymously completed a questionnaire about age, sex, diet, recent body weight change, reasons for recent body weight changes, and perceived difficulties in losing weight. Participants who had deliberately lost weight chose more dairy products, meat, and sweets and fewer fruits and vegetables than did controls. Passive weight-losers were similar to controls in their food choices. Active weight-losers show a stronger desire for high-caloric intake, probably because of a behavioral mechanism that seeks to maintain their original body weight set-point.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 20 research items
This study explores the role of pleasure in decision making. In Experiment 1, 12 subjects were presented with a questionnaire containing 46 items taken from the literature. Twenty-three items described a situation where a decision should be made and ended with a suggested solution. The other items served as filler items. The subjects were requested not to make a decision but to rate the pleasure or displeasure they experienced when reading the situation described in the item. The subjects' ratings were then compared to the decisions on the same situations made by the other subjects of the studies published by other workers. The ratings of pleasure/displeasure given by our subjects correlated significantly with the choices published by other authors. This result satisfies a necessary condition for pleasure to be the key of the decision making process in theoretical situations. In Experiment 2, a new group of 12 subjects rated their experience of pleasure/displeasure when reading various versions of 50 situations taken from daily life where an ethical decision had to be made (Questionnaire I) including 200 items. This was followed by a multiple-choice test with the 50 situations (Questionnaire II) using the same 200 items and offering the various behaviors. Subjects tended to choose ethical and unethical responses corresponding to their highest pleasure rating within each problem. In all cases the subjects' behavior was higher than chance level, and thus, followed the trend to maximize pleasure. In Experiment 3, 12 subjects reading 50 mathematical short problems followed by correct and incorrect versions of the answer to the problem (Questionnaire III), including 200 items. This was followed by a multiple-choice mathematical test with the 50 problems (Questionnaire IV) using the same 200 items and offering the correct and incorrect answers. In questionnaire IV, subjects tended to choose correct as well as incorrect responses corresponding to their highest hedonic rating within each problem. In all cases the subjects' behavior was higher than chance level, and thus, followed the trend to maximize pleasure. The results of the three experiments support the hypothesis according to which decisions are made in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience.
There is no consensus in the literature on a definition of emotion. The term is taken for granted in itself and, most often, emotion is defined with reference to a list: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise. This article expands on a thesis that motivational states can be compared to each other by means of a common currency (Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. 270 (1975) 265-293). I have previously argued that this common currency is pleasure. Such a conclusion is based not on introspective intuition, as with early pre-scientific psychology (), but on experimental methods. As a follow-up to a definition of consciousness (Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 20 (1996) 33-40) as a four-dimensional experience (quality, intensity, hedonicity, and duration), I propose here that emotion is any mental experience with high intensity and high hedonic content (pleasure/displeasure).
Heuristic decision making received wide attention due to the work of Tversky and Kahneman (1981) and inspired multiple studies of irrationality of the human mind and a fundamental disregard for knowledge. But what is the source of all human knowledge, including heuristics? We discuss the hypothesis that acquisition of knowledge is a deeply rooted psychological need, a motivational mechanism for perception as well as higher cognition. We report experimental results showing that acquisition of knowledge is emotionally pleasing. The satisfaction of curiosity through acquiring knowledge brings pleasure. This confirms the hypothesis that curiosity or need for knowledge is a fundamental and ancient motivation on a par with other basic needs, such as sex or food. This paper connects curiosity, knowledge, cognition, emotions, including aesthetic emotions of the beautiful, mechanisms of drives, high cognitive functions, minimization of cognitive effort through heuristics, and knowledge maximization. We anticipate our finding to be an important aspect for several classical fields including cognitive dissonance, personality, self, learning, and new directions in cognitive science studying emotions related to acquiring knowledge, personality types in relation to types of knowledge, relating higher cognitive abilities to knowledge-related emotions, and new directions in aesthetics revealing the cognitive nature of the beautiful and music. Comment: 12 pages, conference IJCNN 2010
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added a research item
When a stimulus excites a sensory neuron, it arouses a tridimensional sensation (Fig. 1).
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 2 research items
An experiment has been set up to explore the hypothesis according to which behaviour is determined by the trend to maximize pleasure. Twelve subjects were placed individually in a situation of conflict where the pleasure of playing a videogame clashed with the increasing discomfort of a cold environment. The time lapse tolerated could be predicted from the algebraic sum of the rating of displeasure aroused by the cold environment and the rating of pleasure aroused by the videogame, obtained in other sessions. This result supports the working hypothesis and allows to conclude that pleasure is the common currency of tradeoffs among various motivations.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added a research item
h i g h l i g h t s Music helps overcoming cognitive dissonance and hold contradictory knowledge. This might be fundamental for human evolution and ability to think. The 'Mozart effect' might be caused by overcoming cognitive dissonance. Students reduce thinking time during stressful tests, but music reverses this. A 'mystery of music' might be due to overcoming cognitive dissonance. a b s t r a c t We explore a possibility that the 'Mozart effect' points to a fundamental cognitive function of music. Would such an effect of music be due to the hedonicity, a fundamental dimension of mental experience? The present paper explores a recent hypothesis that music helps to tolerate cognitive dissonances and thus enabled accumulation of knowledge and human cultural evolution. We studied whether the influence of music is related to its hedonicity and whether pleasant or unpleasant music would influence scholarly test performance and cognitive dissonance. Specific hypotheses evaluated in this study are that during a test students experience contradictory cognitions that cause cognitive dissonances. If some music helps to tolerate cognitive dissonances, then first, this music should increase the duration during which participants can tolerate stressful conditions while evaluating test choices. Second, this should result in improved performance. These hypotheses are tentatively confirmed in the reported experiments as the agreeable music was correlated with longer duration of tests under stressful conditions and better performance above that under indifferent or unpleasant music. It follows that music likely performs a fundamental cognitive function explaining the origin and evolution of musical ability that have been considered a mystery. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Leonid Perlovsky
added an update
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 4 research items
Maximization of pleasure (hedonicity) is a major mechanism in human decision-making by optimizing behavior, as previous research has shown on both sensory pleasure and purely mental pleasure (such as playing video- games or solving mathematical problems). Our group also documented that pleasure is a major factor in decision-making in social situations related to interpersonal aggression: people tend to make aggressive behavioral decisions as a function of the resulting pleasure. The present study tried to verify whether this trend was also found in inmates. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation on the relationship between pleasure and aggression performed in a prison. Fifty three male inmates in a Spanish prison condemned for severe legal transgressions and serving long detention were compared with seventy five male university students who served as controls. They responded to self-reported questionnaires devised to examine how hedonicity influences decision-making in the case of aggressiveness. Socially conflictive situations were described, with four alternative options ranging from passive to highly aggressive response. A similar bell-shaped trend was present in both populations -aggressive behaviors of medium intensity were rated as significantly less unpleasant than the most passive and most aggressive behaviors-, even though the degree of hedonicity was significantly higher in the inmates, who rated mild and moderate aggressive responses as pleasurable. Inmates also voted for an unexpected lower of aggressiveness than controls, which may be explained by social desirability. Conclusion: the sametrend is found in both populations: mild aggressive behavior may be pleasurable to the aggressor, but only up to a certain level. But this seems to be stronger in inmates: they showed hedonicity when experiencing higher level of aggression. Such a result is consistent with a fundamental role of hedonicity in decision making.
In a previous study we demonstrated that listening to a pleasant music while performing an academic test helped students to overcome stress, to devote more time to more stressful and more complicated task and the grades were higher. Yet, there remained ambiguities as for the causes of the higher test performance of these students: do they perform better because they hear music during their examinations, or would they perform better anyway because they are more gifted/motivated? This motivated the current study as a preliminary step toward that general question: Do students who like/perform music have better grades than the others? Our results confirmed this hypothesis: students studying music have better grades in all subjects.
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added a research item
Alliesthesia' describes the fact that sensory stimuli can arouse pleasant or unpleasant sensations according to the internal state of a person. In the present work, the hedonicity aroused by stimuli from the environment in visual and auditory sensations was evaluated in 5 situations: 1) daytime without sensory stimulations (no videotape); 2) daytime with poor sensory stimulations (uninteresting videotape film); 3) daytime with rich sensory stimulations (interesting chosen movie on videotape); 4) night-time without sensory stimulations (no videotape); 5) night-time with poor sensory stimulations (uninteresting videotape). During the day, hedonic ratings decreased with time in the no-and uninteresting videotape film conditions (p b 0.01), but increased with the chosen movie (p b 0.05). During the night, hedonic ratings decreased similarly to daytime ratings with the uninteresting videotape film (p b 0.01) but rose in the no-videotape environment (p b 0.01). The time course of motivation to leave the environment mirrored that of hedonic ratings. Changes in hedonic ratings as well as motivation to leave the environment correlated with the state of tiredness in the day-no-video and night-no-video situations (r = 0.541 and r = −0.593; p b 0.01). Thus, alliesthesia occurred in visual and auditory sensations that originated from the environment, and motivated behavior that was not consummatory. Such results suggest that alliesthesia is a general property of all sensations, and emphasizes the fundamental role of pleasure in motivation for all behaviors.
Alexander Ovsich
added a project reference
Michel Cabanac de Lafregeyre
added 2 research items
Gentle handling of small rodents leads to an emotional fever characterized by a 1-2 degrees C rise in colonic temperature associated with peripheral vasoconstriction and inhibition of this response after administration of salicylate. Because vagotomy has been recently shown to hinder microbial fever, we wanted to know whether emotional fever would also be suppressed by vagotomy in rats. The completeness of subdiaphragmatic vagotomy was verified on the basis of gastric dilation after a 24-h fast. Gentle handling produced fevers of equal magnitude: colonic temperature ca. +1.6 degrees C, in vagotomized and + 1.5 degrees C sham-vagotomized rats. On the other hand, intraperitoneal salicylate (300 mg x kg(-1)) largely prevented the fever response caused by gentle handling. It was concluded that the afferent message in the vagus is not necessary for emotional fever.
Alexander Ovsich
added a research item
The process of choice is vitally important for animals including humans because they are open, active, and limited systems. The term orientation is used in this work in two meanings corresponding to two main aspects of choice -an appraisal of the elements of choice one by one, and their comparison resulting in the choice being made. An appraisal of a singled out element of choice is also an act of orientation of a subject to it that can be positive or negative, toward or away from it. Comparison of elements of choice is also an act of orientation, this time between the objects of choice. The terms orientation and choice are often used in this work interchangeably. The word orientation, however, being a choice of direction in the broad sense of it, carries an intentional, directional or vectorial connotation that is valuable for the objectives of this work
Alexander Ovsich
added 4 research items
According to Spinoza, "Love is nothing else but pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause". Author proposes that desire is nothing else but a change of pleasure accompanied by the idea of its cause, that terms 'desire', 'want' and their cognates describe change of the pleasantness of the state of a subject (PSS in short) associated with X, that if change of PSS is positive/negative, then X is called desirable/undesirable correspondingly. Both positive and negative desires can be strong, so strength of desire characterizes its magnitude. Need of X is defined here as a cyclical desire of X that gets stronger/weaker with dissatisfaction/satisfaction of its need. Author also explores an idea that the stronger is desire of X by a subject, the more attention this subject pays to X. Distribution of attention and influence on it by the will effort are analyzed in this paper.
Alexander Ovsich
added 2 research items
Desire plays an important role in the explanation of behavior in general, for example, in the contemporary Belief-Desire theories. These theories (for example, Bratman's Belief-Desire-Intention theory) are widely used in the AI applications. However, there is neither much literature, nor even consensus about the meaning and definition of desire. There is not much clarity about the concepts and mechanisms of need and attention either. The author presents here simple, closely linked mathematical models of desire, need, and attention. They are based upon the hedonistic principle proclaiming that animals and humans alike are driven by striving to maximize pleasantness of their internal state (Pleasantness of the State of this Subject("PSS"). What directly follows from this principle is that for such a subject (S), the most important characteristic of any phenomenon (X) should be how much X influences the process of maximization, how much X increases or decreases PSS, that is measured by the magnitude and direction of its change (Δ PSS). I propose that terms such as 'desire,' 'want,' and their cognates describe PSS change associated with (caused by) a phenomenon: DESIRE s,x = Δ PSS s,x ; if ΔPSS s,x > 0, then X is called desirable; if ΔPSS s,x < 0, then X is called undesirable. The magnitude of the PSS change is what is called " strength of desire " : STRENGTH of the DESIRE s,x =|DESIRE s,x |=| Δ PSS s,x |. Need is defined here as a term describing a periodic or cyclical desire. There is another direct inference from the hedonistic principle: the more a phenomenon affects the process of PSS maximization, i.e. the larger a PSS change it creates or the stronger a desire is associated with it, the more attention should a subject pay to it: ATTENTION s,x ~ | Δ PSS s,x | ~ |DESIRE s,x |; ATTENTION s,x = k |DESIRE s,x |. Considering that an overall attention of a subject S at any given moment t (ATTtotal t) is distributed between a number of objects (1 to n) and that it has an upper limit (ATTmax s,t): ATTmax s,t >= ATTtotal s,t = k|DESIRE s,t,1 | + k|DESIRE s,t,2 | +… + k|DESIRE s,t,n |
This article analyzes experiments conducted by one of the authors of the article from the point of view of the hedonistic model of desire proposed by another author. We show that these independently conducted experiments and a number of the classical definitions of desire support the proposed model of desire. The model claims that terms "desire", "want", and their cognates describe changes of the Pleasantness of the State of a Subject (PSS) associated with the desire objects, and that the magnitude of these changes is called a "strength of desire". If the change () of the PSS for a subject S associated with X is positive/non-positive then X is called desirable/undesirable correspondingly. DESIRE s,x =  (PSS s,x); STRENGTH of DESIRE s,x = | (PSS s,x)|. Main advantages of this model of desire: it is mathematically clear, supported by experiments, intuitive.