Understanding Self-Interest: A Concept Bridging the Gap between Psychology and Politics Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Benz, Jennifer Kirstin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
Abstract
  • Self-interest is a concept germane to many theories in economics, political science, and psychology. Although somewhat obscured by different terminology, such as vested interest or personal relevance, the function of self-interest as a motivating force for individuals is prominent in some of the most widely discussed and contested social science theories of this generation. While many of these theories assume self-interest as a prime motivator of individual thought and behavior, other theories challenge that notion directly. Furthermore, empirical evidence can be readily cited to support both positions. Evidence in social psychology research supports the notion of self-interest as an important and relatively consistent force in the formation, structure, and expression of attitudes. However, a more disjointed body of empirical evidence in the political science literature finds self-interest to be an inconsistent and relatively weak predictor of political and policy attitudes and be
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Carsey, Thomas M.
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2011
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