The literature on the `myth of self-interest’ model of perceived human motivation suggests that people believe that both they and others are more motivated by self-interest than is actually the case. Four studies are reported which test one implication of the myth of self-interest: the psychology of pre-experience preferences and post-experience evaluations will differ. We hypothesize that people arrive at pre-experience preferences for decision-making procedures based upon the belief that they want to maximize their self-interest. Further, they will define their self-interest in material terms. Consequently, they choose procedures that they believe promise them the best material outcomes. However, post-experience evaluations are based upon a different factor – the quality of the treatment received during the course of the procedure. The results of all four studies support the suggestion that the psychology of preference and of evaluation differ as predicted. The findings suggest that preference and choice should be viewed as reflecting different psychological processes.
Tyler, T. R., Huo, Y. J., &Lind, E. A. (1999). The two psychologies of conflict resolution: Differing antecedents of pre-experience choices and post-experience evaluations. Group Processes &Intergroup Relations, 2(2), 99-118.