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In Freudian psychoanalysis , the pleasure principle German: Lustprinzip  is the instinctive seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. Epicurus in the ancient world, and Jeremy Bentham in the modern, laid stress upon the role of pleasure in directing human life, the latter stating: Freud's most immediate predecessor and guide however was Gustav Theodor Fechner and his psychophysics.
Freud used the idea that the mind seeks pleasure and avoids pain in his Project for a Scientific Psychology of ,  as well as in the theoretical portion of The Interpretation of Dreams of , where he termed it the 'unpleasure principle'.
In the Two Principles of Mental Functioning of , contrasting it with the reality principle , Freud spoke for the first time of "the pleasure-unpleasure principle, or more shortly the pleasure principle".
While on occasion Freud wrote of the near omnipotence of the pleasure principle in mental life,  elsewhere he referred more cautiously to the mind's strong but not always fulfilled tendency towards the pleasure principle.
Freud contrasted the pleasure principle with the counterpart concept of the reality principle , which describes the capacity to defer gratification of a desire when circumstantial reality disallows its immediate gratification. In infancy and early childhood, the id rules behavior by obeying only the pleasure principle. People at that age only seek immediate gratification, aiming to satisfy cravings such as hunger and thirst, and at later ages the id seeks out sex.
Maturity is learning to endure the pain of deferred gratification. In his book Beyond the Pleasure Principle , published in , Freud considered the possibility of "the operation of tendencies beyond the pleasure principle, that is, of tendencies more primitive than it and independent of it".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the psychoanalytical term. For other uses, see Pleasure principle. The Language of Psycho-analysis reprint, revised ed. Karnac Books. Positive Psychology. Sage Publications, Inc. Donald Psychology - the science of behaviour. Pearson Education Canada. Gregory ed. Retrieved from " https: Psychoanalytic terminology Motivation Positive psychology Pleasure Energy and instincts Freudian psychology.