Talk:Vested interest (communication theory)

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The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was move. —Nightstallion (?) 12:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

There is some confusion around the three articles: Vesting, Vested interest and Vested interests. The first is now more than a stub. The second was a stub that could not be expanded without containing essentially the same information as the first, and a merge was proposed. I merged the one sentence into Vesting and went to make it a redirect, but when fixing links, I found that all references to Vested interest actually meant the political topic under this article. So, I redirected here instead.

I propose to now swap the singular and plural, per normal Wikipedia naming of articles. Robert A.West (Talk) 22:34, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

new articles: Vested interest (?) and Vested interest (law)[edit]

Comments on this proposal to more permanently deal with the ongoing confusion between these two different concepts? Vested interest would move to "Vested interest (one of sociology/psychology/politics)", and Vesting would move to Vested interest (law). Declare 11:05, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Coming here via RFC, I would say that the political meaning of "vested interest" should be here as the primary meaning. The legal concept should be at Vesting or Vested interest (law) - I don't mind which. Rd232 talk 11:45, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed on the location of the primary meaning. The issue basically comes down to this: given that some readers are not obviously clear on the respective meanings, would it improve matters to have a search for "vested interest" go to vested interest (disambiguation) and splitting to vested interest (politics) and vested interest (law), or keeping things as they are (having dablinks only). Declare 06:32, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I think readers not clear on the distinction are very likely to be looking for the political meaning. Rd232 talk 09:34, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
  • (sigh) The penultimate editor changed the article because s/he appeared to be confused as to the legal meaning. This is the point. Declare 08:51, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

There are three concepts here: the communications theory, of which I know nothing; the legal term, of which I have more than passing knowledge as a real estate attorney; and the political/business term "vested interests," of which I have read in political history. The latter arose from a political cartoon (Nash?) published during the trust busting days of Teddy Roosevelt wherein the representatives of the business trusts were depicted wearing suits with vests vs. the ordinary folk dressed more plainly. Thus, "vested interests" was originally a pejorative term for the vest-wearing big businessmen. It has come to mean the interest any group has in its own political agenda, or collectively all such groups on a particular issue. It has nothing to do with a legally vested interest. For example, a will leaving a house to Wife for life, remainder at her death to Son, leaves the son a future interest which will "vest" (become his) on his mother's death. The three terms should be separated and proper documentation to follow -- but they are distinctly different. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ockerman (talkcontribs) 19:33, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Still confusion? The most common usage is this one from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary: See also the link below at 100 usages of "vested interests" from the Internet, partucularly the last half of that list.
-- (talk) 21:16, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Doug Bashford


The Guilty have a vested interest in concepts such as "mercy" and "forgiveness", the section on relevant research should be expanded to include that, if anyone has access to such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:04, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

This section; "Forgiveness," is off topic and should be deleted. -- (talk) 21:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Doug Bashford

Am I at the right place?[edit]

I have to say this article does not remotely resemble what I expected to see when I typed "vested interests". Should it be moved to something like "vested interests (communication theory)"? --Adoniscik(t, c) 23:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll second Adoniscik; I came here looking for some sort of background on the sociological sense in which Thorstein Veblen used the term "Vested Interest." See for example [1] (Veblen's The Vested Interests and the Common Man of 1919). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Agree with the two above. Also stilted terminology/jargon such as "...vested interest refers to the amount that an attitude object is deemed hedonically relevant by the attitude holder..." does not conform to Wikipedia's standards for inclusiveness. For example; Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section) One's personal interest should not affect a term's definition.

The opening sentence should somehow give a full overview of all the meanings, perhaps as a list. Also please consider the below more common usages and understandings of the term and give them their context:

1. (law) a right or title that can be conveyed
2. a fixed right granted to an employee, especially under a pension plan
3. a special interest in protecting whatever is to one's own advantage

[quotations ▼]

  • Oct 24, 2007, Patrick Wintour, The Guardian: Honours investigator calls for change in law

Mr Yates conceded: "These cases are very difficult to prove because they are bargains made in secret. Both parties have an absolute vested interest in those secrets [not] coming out."

Quotations "Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist." - Richard M. Nixon

a special interest in protecting whatever is to one's own advantage

============== vested interests

Popularized in sociology by Thorstein Veblen, The Vested Interests and the Common Man, 1919. From legal notion of a vested (‘secured, permanent’) interest.

Noun vested interests
1. plural form of vested interest
2. those groups that seek to control an existing system or activity from which they derive benefit

Here are 100 usages of "vested interests" from the Internet. Notice how often "vested" seems to be a synonym for invested, wealthy, biased, or despicable. As in "Kurt Cobb: Would vested interests starve the world? | Peak Oil ... May 15, 2011 ... One cause, he says, is an array of vested interests who manipulate the media and the power structure, oblivious to the consequences of their" or "Can we Trust Vested Interests" Or "YouTube - David Cameron: Taking on vested interests Mar 20, 2010 ... David Cameron sets out Conservative plans to take on vested interests in the country." and "Mar 28, 2007 ... The motives of primary health care providers were suspected by some parents, who saw them as having a range of vested interests (including ..."
-- (talk) 19:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Doug Bashford

Doubt about coinage[edit]

It seems clear that the term "vested interest" was not coined in 1995. There are plenty of older articles using the term in the sense explained in the article. For example:

Am I right? Does the intro need changing? Does the whole article need revision to eliminate the point of view that the term specifically connotes what Crano used it for? —Largo Plazo (talk) 13:37, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Agree, it should be rewritten. If nothing else, the absolutist lingo; "Vested interest is a communication theory that..." is misleading, and then later; a sentence "This is not to be confused with the legal term vested interest, which is related to the concept of vesting." ...seems choppy, contradictory, stilted, jargony, and disjunctive. It just doesn't flow. The intro (lead section) should give a self-contained overview of the terms and concepts (without gratuitous or lazy hypertext linking). See also; "100 usages of "vested interests" from the Internet," above, particularly the last half; the common usages, which seem ignored here. In particular, vested interests as people and organizations should be considered. -- (talk) 19:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)Doug Bashford

This page gave me the false impression that the term was coined in 1995 by Crano. My guess is 99% of people searching for the term "Vested Interest" or "Vested Interests" are looking for the commonly accepted meaning, not the obscure communications theory definition. Nerdsquared (talk) 02:53, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

This article[edit]

has zero inline citations. This very much needs to be fixed.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 19:15, 3 November 2014 (UTC)