pleasure principle

noun Psychoanalysis.
an automatic mental drive or instinct seeking to avoid pain and to obtain pleasure.

1910–15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pleasure principle
psychoanal See also hedonism the idea that psychological processes and actions are governed by the gratification of needs. It is seen as the governing process of the id, whereas the reality principle is the governing process of the ego

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Medical Dictionary

pleasure principle pleas·ure principle (plězh'ər)
In psychoanalysis, the tendency or drive to achieve pleasure and avoid pain as the chief motivating force in behavior. Also called pain-pleasure principle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pleasure principle definition

In psychoanalysis, the demand that an instinctive need (usually sexual or aggressive) be gratified, regardless of the social or practical consequences. Sigmund Freud held that the id was dominated totally by the pleasure principle, but that, with the development of the ego and superego, individuals become aware of the demands of social reality (the reality principle), and thereby learn to temper and regulate their quest for pleasure.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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