Imaginary relish and exquisite torture : the elaborated intrusion theory of desire

Kavanagh, David J., Andrade, Jackie, & May, Jon (2005) Imaginary relish and exquisite torture : the elaborated intrusion theory of desire. Psychological Review, 112(2), pp. 446-467.

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The authors argue that human desire involves conscious cognition that has strong affective connotation and is potentially involved in the determination of appetitive behavior rather than being epiphenomenal to it. Intrusive thoughts about appetitive targets are triggered automatically by external or physiological cues and by cognitive associates. When intrusions elicit significant pleasure or relief, cognitive elaboration usually ensues. Elaboration competes with concurrent cognitive tasks through retrieval of target related information and its retention in working memory. Sensory images are especially important products of intrusion and elaboration because they simulate the sensory and emotional qualities of target acquisition. Desire images are momentarily rewarding but amplify awareness of somatic and emotional deficits. Effects of desires on behavior are moderated by competing incentives, target availability, and skills. The theory provides a coherent account of existing data and suggests new directions for research and treatment.

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276 citations in Scopus
260 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 28709
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.112.2.446
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 American Psychological Association
Deposited On: 19 Nov 2009 00:49
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:10

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