Making sense of agency: Belief in free will as a unique and important construct
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
Belief in free will is the general belief that human behavior is free from internal and external constraints across situations for both self and others. In the last decade, scholars in social-cognitive psychology and experimental philosophy have made progress in defining free will terms, exploring how laypersons think of free will, discovering related cognitive processes and biases, and examining the behavioral outcomes of believing in free will. The growing interest in this construct raises the need for a discussion of what is new about free will beliefs, and how this construct differs from and relates to other well-known agency constructs in the literature. In this review, we integrate conceptual discussions and empirical findings in the existing literature to highlight the belief in free will as a separate and important construct, different from existing constructs in the literature, and capturing unique aspects of agency. We conclude by calling researchers to recognize these differences and to leverage the potential in the construct of the belief in free will as a predictor of cognition and behavior.
- belief in free will, beliefs, agency, GENERALIZED SELF-EFFICACY, IMPLICIT THEORIES, JOB-PERFORMANCE, WEAKENING BELIEF, DECISION-MAKING, CONSCIOUS-WILL, AUTONOMY SCALE, DETERMINISM, PSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR