E. Tory Higgins

in Beyond Pleasure and Pain

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765829
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918966 | DOI:

Series: Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience


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Neither the dictionary nor the current psychological literature provides an answer to the question of where value comes from despite the importance of this question to understanding motivation. However, there are partial answers regarding mechanisms that could underlie value that can be gathered together from the historical literature. This chapter reviews this traditional literature and then goes beyond it to provide an overall answer to where value comes from. It proposes that value comes from the experience of attraction or repulsion, which has both direction and intensity. Importantly, there are sources of engagement strength that contribute to the intensity of the value experience that are separate from the sources that contribute to value direction. Whereas sources of value direction, such as hedonic experience, can also contribute to value intensity (both directly and indirectly through engagement strength), sources of engagement strength just intensify the value that has been established by the value direction sources.

Keywords: value; human motivation; attraction; repulsion; engagement strength

Chapter.  16276 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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