Self-Interest, Automaticity, and the Psychology of Conflict of Interest

Moore, Don A.; Loewenstein, Loewenstein
June 2004
Social Justice Research;Jun2004, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p189
Academic Journal
This paper argues that self-interest and concern for others influence behavior through different cognitive systems. Self-interest is automatic, viscerally compelling, and often unconscious. Understanding one's ethical and professional obligations to others, in contrast, often involves a more thoughtful process. The automatic nature of self-interest gives it a primal power to influence judgment and make it difficult for people to understand its influence on their judgment, let alone eradicate its influence. This dual-process view offers new insights into how conflict of interest operate and it suggests some new avenues for addressing them or limiting some of their greatest dangers.


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