By WALTER TOWMAN
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Extra info for An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory of Motivation
It is a more primitive desire that gets satisfied, be it for no other reason than that the object matters less than weie I to satisfy the original desire. If it is not the dog that I hit, it may be the chair, or I may break a window. If somebody has lost a friend and picks another person for a friend that same day, a person whom he has not known before, we might say he is displacing. We will feel safer calling it so, the less the new-found friend matters as a person and the shorter that new friendship lasts.
Furthermore they are supposed to be on the same substitution continuum and able to do something for the continuum and for each other. Both, smoking and drinking coffee, are forms of sucking. Something like "sucking" or "oral satisfaction" could be the common denominator. Thirdly, their increments, as estimated empirically, say, from the average interval between successive satisfactions, are expressed as a fraction of that intensity, at which the desire is usually satisfied. That intensity is unity.
One may doubt, though, whether there is such a thing as behavior without desires involved. In fact, I would doubt it myself. I have indicated already (see p. 3) that we cannot even recognise behavior without hypothesising, inadvertently, the desires that guide it. If we say somebody is running we are naming a complex sequence of behavioral events by the desire that we can make out. We can make out that this somebody wishes to get from one place to the other, to a place ahead of him, faster than usual.