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Reality Principle

 

Explanations > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Reality Principle

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Demanding immediate gratification, as in the Pleasure-pain principle, is not always a good move and we have to learn to wait. This is particularly difficult for an infant who is driven by primitive needs and lacks sophisticated reasoning.

The reality principle says that we learn how deferring pleasure and enduring pain can result in an overall improvement in pleasure.

Discussion

The reality principle was originated by Sigmund Freud.

Deferrment of pleasure is related to Jeremy Benham's notions in Utilitarianism, where the 'felcific calculus' is used to calculate the maximum utilitarian gain in happiness.

Deferred pleasure also allows an ongoing anticipated pleasure, that adds to the overall pleasure of delay.

The reality principle also explains such as religiously-motivated suicide bombers, who endure the pain of corporal annihilation in the belief in eternal pleasure in heaven.

See also

Pleasure-pain principle, Sigmund Freud

 

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