I have a problem with a phrase that can describe the following:
a strong reason for wanting something to happen because you will get advantage from it.
I need the phrase for a formal essay.
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I suggest the expression,
- if you have an ulterior motive for doing something, you do it partly because you think you will get some advantage from doing it.
Another useful expression is,
- an undisclosed plan, especially one with an ulterior motive.
I prefer @Chris's answer for a single, concise word. On the other hand, if you are okay with using an idiom, try
To have some vested interest in or something to gain by a given situation.
- Some people can watch a football game no matter who is playing, but I'm only interested if I've got a dog in the hunt. Many small business owners—whether they know it or not—have a dog in the hunt with this proposed tax bill.
The origin is from the use of dogs to scent and/or flush game animals, and if a dog you owned was being used, you would desire its success, as this would translate to your success as a hunter.