Lots of psychology looks at individual motivations, what should economics do with all these studies? Here is Peter Abel in a paper I have not seen before.
Psychologists and, indeed, many sociologists often allege that economists adoptan over-simple model of the individual (i.e. usually rational, calculating and self-interested). Maybe they do, but the important point is, nevertheless, that the socialsciences should only adopt the simplest model of the individual consistent withvalidated psychology theory, which can in turn contribute to an account of the sys-tem state. This being the case, the social sciences will not always, or even usually,shift with changing fashions in our understanding of individual psychology. Unfor-tunately many sociologists have not taken this lesson to heart, with the result thata type of literature has evolved which tries to locate ever more refined ways ofunderstanding individuals and their interactions. Social scientists have very little tolearn from this literature.