CATALYST Perspective: The Three Ps of Desire
Progeny, Power and Purpose
By Adam Zoltowski
Issue 6 Winter 2010
Desire, in contemporary psychology, is often grouped into the following three categories: Progeny, Power, and Purpose. They represent at the highest level, the desires of all human beings, with all other desires falling underneath them or acting as a way of obtaining them. The desire for these three things is the impetus for all other desires such as possession, love, connection, money, and other worldly things.
These desires spark innovation in a number of different design fields. The desire for progeny can be fed through fashion, clothing, and other ways of projecting a desirable sexual image of one’s self. Power can also be fed in this manner, but also through the design of cars, homes, and similar status symbols. Purpose is often met with designs that enable people and provide access to information that opens avenues of exploration and growth, and provide connection with other people who share their mission.