The present study examines how individuals with different social value orientations (i.e. prosocial, individualistic, and competitive) construe the rationality, morality, and power of choices in four distinct interdependence structures which systematically differ in the motives that could underlie the most prosocial or least aggressive choice: (a) altruism only, (b) altruism and cooperation, (c) altruism, cooperation, and individualism, and (d) altruism, cooperation, individualism, and competition. Results revealed that rationality ratings, and to a lesser degree morality and power ratings, increased most when the motives that could underlie a choice were part of the perceiver's social value orientation. Overall, the pattern of rationality ratings provided reasonable support for the Goal Prescribes Rationality Principle. Ratings of morality and power suggested a corresponding Goal Prescribes Morality/Power Principle (for prosocials and individualists), but revealed only mixed support for the Might Over Morality Hypothesis. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.