I'm looking for a term to describe a person who thinks that everyone is driven by personal interest rather than by philanthropy or charity; someone who is pessimistic about people's intent (whether they're honest or the opposite).
closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Helmar, MetaEd♦ Oct 19 '16 at 14:26
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – MetaEd
Cynic: "a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons" (here).
The adjective is cynical.
Also, psychological egoist: someone who believes "that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism" (here).