Hedonism emphasizes pleasure over everything else. The hedonistic theory of motivation stems from Freud's recognition of the pleasure principle, which stipulates that motivation is stimulated by pleasure and inhibited by pain.
Laboratory experiments with rats demonstrated unequivocally that, given a choice, rats work harder to get food that tastes good to them than to get food that is nutritious. Indeed, laboratory animals will take in empty calories to the point of emaciation as long as the food that contains such calories tastes good. It is thought that hedonistic motivation is directly related to pleasure centers in the brain, so that organisms work both consciously and unconsciously toward stimulating and satisfying these pleasure centers.
Was this article helpful?