Experimental Support of the Hedonistic Model of Desire

  •  Alexander Ovsich    
  •  Michel Cabanac    


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 (Delta) of the PSS for a subject S associated with X is positive/non-positive then X is called desirable/undesirable correspondingly.

DESIREs,x = Delta (PSSs,x);

STRENGTH of DESIREs,x = |Delta (PSSs,x)|.

Main advantages of this model of desire: it is mathematically clear, supported by experiments, intuitive.

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