Psychological characteristics associated with eating motives of the Palatable Eating Motives Scale (PEMS) were identified in 192 undergraduates. Coping was characterized by greater BMI, emotion-triggered eating, and eating concern and also by binge-eating and perceived stress reactivity in females. Reward Enhancement was characterized by greater BMI, anxiety- and depression-eating in females and by anger/frustration-eating in males. Conformity was strongly characterized by binge-eating and by failure-based stress and all eating disorder traits in females and by anger/frustration- and anxiety-eating in males. The sex-divergent patterns of these traits across PEMS motives highlight the heterogeneity of hedonic eating. The traits may also be maintaining the motives, hence adresseing them should improve treatments for obesity, binge-eating, and foster healthier coping, reward, and psychosocial interactions.