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How is Dual Motive Theory (DMT) 

Related to Dual Interest Theory (DIT)?

The history of DMT and DIT starts with conversations between Gerald Cory and myself, going back to the early-2000s, starting shortly after we both published works with a very similar theme, represented in Cory (1999) and Lynne (1999).  His framework and theory had been based in paleontology and biology, and neuroscience, with a bit of computer science mixed in, and mine based in philosophy, religion, and a variety of social sciences... especially various branches of economics, psychology, sociology, social anthropology, economic psychology, and social psychology. In fact, when we first discovered each others papers, books, and personally met at a Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics conference, we were pleasantly surprised ... and somewhat amazed, actually, as to how we had moved to essentially the same framework and theory even though coming through such different paths.  At my suggestion, we agreed (on a winter/early spring night in Lincoln, NE, where I was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) to simply work to integrate our ideas under the banner of Dual Motive Theory.  The first step in this direction is represented in a Dual Motives Theory session we organized for the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics/International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (SABE/IARP) meetings in Philadelphia in 2004.  The papers from that session were published in the Journal of Socio-Economics in 2006  (Cory, 2006a,b; Levine, 2006; Lynne, 2006b; Wilson, 2006).

The next joint effort was  Cory and Lynne (2006), presented again at the SABE/IAREP conference, this one in Paris, in July, 2006. DMT continued as our descriptor for several years after that, as represented in Ovchinnikova et al. (2008), Khachaturyan et al. (2009), Lynne (2009), Sheeder and Lynne (2009). We switched to referring to the theory as DIT in about 2011, as represented in Sautter and Lynne (2011).  This switch was done because DIT fit better in the economics literature which uses the vernacular of self-interest; the motives kind of descriptor works better in psychology than in economics.  Both terminologies are still being used in some literature, e.g. Tomer (2017), using DMT and DIT more or less interchangeably.

So, how does DMT relate to DIT?  The answer is quite simple:  The notion of an Interest is taken to be a deeper, more of a base, tendency in the human choice system, with an interest preceding a motive, and, then, the motive leading (with sufficient self-discipline, self-control) to an action.   So, we might say that DIT --> DMT, i.e. DIT is the more fundamental, scientific representation of what motivates people as related to these dual domains of interest. So, we prefer to use the Dual Interest Theory (DIT) descriptor, which also makes it easier to distinguish and compare DIT from Metaeconomics with the SIT (Single Interest Theory) represented in Microeconomics.

An image showing the relationship between the Conflict Systems Model from Cory (1999) which is still framed as DMT,  and the notion of DIT in Metaeconomics, click here.   The image also works to integrate across the latest thinking in evolutionary biology as well as the original propositions by Adam Smith about the dual nature of Humans.


Cory, G.A. 2006a. "The Dual Motive Theory." Journal of Socio-Economics no. 35 (4):589-591.

Cory, G.A., Jr. 1999. The Reciprocal Modular Brain in Economics and Politics. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum publishers.

Cory, G.A. 2006a. "The Dual Motive Theory." Journal of Socio-Economics no. 35 (4):589-591.

Cory, G.A. 2006b. "A Behavioral Model of the Dual  Motive Approach to Behavioral Economics and Social Exchange." Journal of Socio-Economics no. 35 (4):592 – 612.

Cory, G.A. and Lynne, G.D.  “Dual Motive Theory as a Proposed Inclusive Metaeconomic Framework for Research in Behavioral Economics and Economic Psychology” at the joint SABE/IAREP conference in Paris, France, July, 2006

 Khachaturyan, M. and Lynne, G.D.   “Considering Survey Response from the Dual-Motive Model Perspective,” joint conference of IAREP/SABE, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, July 7-11, 2009.

Levine, D. S. 2006. "Neural Modeling of the Dual Motive Theory of Economics." Journal of Socio-Economics no. 35 (4):613 – 625.

Lynne, G. D.  . 1999. "Divided Self Models of the Socioeconomic Person: the Metaeconomics Approach." Journal of Socio-Economics no. 28 (3):267 – 288.

 Lynne, G.D. (in collaboration with G.A. Cory, Jr.). “Markets Don’t See It Until They Know It, So, “Let’s Stop Teaching Greed.”  in the Roundtable Behavioral Economics, Public Policy and the Global Economic Crisis, joint conference of IAREP/SABE, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, July 7-11, 2009.

 Sheeder, R. J. and Lynne, G.D. “Dual Motive Theory, Environmental Enhancement, and Ecological Sustainability: The Case of Tuttle Creek Lake,” in the Dual Motive Theory session at the IAREP/SABE conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, July 7-11, 2009.

Ovchinnikova, N., Czap, H., Lynne, G., and Larimer, C. “Dual Motive Theory in the United States:  ‘I Don’t Want to be Selling My Soul’ ” in the Dual Motives Theory session at the IAREP/SABE conference at LUISS, Rome, Italy, September, 2008.

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