Conscious and unconscious processes in human desire
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Elaborated Intrusion theory (Kavanagh, Andrade & May 2005) distinguishes between unconscious, associative processes as the precursors of desire, and controlled processes of cognitive elaboration that lead to conscious sensory images of the target of desire and associated affect. We argue that these mental images play a key role in motivating human behavior. Consciousness is functional in that it allows competing goals to be compared and evaluated. The role of effortful cognitive processes in desire helps to explain the different time courses of craving and physiological withdrawal.
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