Research output

Agency Beliefs Over Time and Across Cultures: Free Will Beliefs Predict Higher Job Satisfaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Associated researcher

  • Feldman, G.
  • Farh, J.
  • Wong, K. F. E.

Associated organisations


In three studies, we examined the relationship between free will beliefs and job satisfaction over time and across cultures. Study 1 examined 252 Taiwanese real-estate agents over a 3-months period. Study 2 examined job satisfaction for 137 American workers on an online labor market over a 6-months period. Study 3 extended to a large sample of 14,062 employees from 16 countries and examined country-level moderators. We found a consistent positive relationship between the belief in free will and job satisfaction. The relationship was above and beyond other agency constructs (Study 2), mediated by perceived autonomy (Studies 2-3), and stronger in countries with a higher national endorsement of the belief in free will (Study 3). We conclude that free-will beliefs predict outcomes over time and across cultures beyond other agency constructs. We call for more cross-cultural and longitudinal studies examining free-will beliefs as predictors of real-life outcomes.

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, CORE SELF-EVALUATIONS, METAANALYSIS, SUCCESS, agency, PERFORMANCE, BEHAVIOR, INTRINSIC MOTIVATION, CHOICE, belief in free will, DISBELIEF, PUNISHMENT, job satisfaction, BRAIN, United States, Humans, Male, Personal Autonomy, Job Satisfaction, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Taiwan, Adult, Female, Surveys and Questionnaires
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-317
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number3
Early online date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018