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Gilad feldman belief in free will BGU Gilad feldman belief in free will BGU Presentation Transcript

  • Cognition and Consequences of the Belief in Free Will Gilad Feldman http://mgto.org filian@connect.ust.hk
  • Belief in Free Will - Collaborators  Feldman, Wong & Baumeister: Bad is Freer than Good  Feldman, Baumeister, & Wong : Free will & Choice  Feldman & Wong: Belief in Free Will & Performance Roy Baumeister Ellick Wong
  • Free will discussed in North Carolina 3 • Taken to jail by police for drunk driving • While in jail found he had concealed drugs • Charged with drugs in prison (8 months) which is harsher than drugs possession (15 days) • Is he guilty? What is he guilty of? View slide
  • Free will discussed in North Carolina 4 Involuntarily Not Guilty No ability to choose his own course of action View slide
  • Broader implications... "Not Guilty by Insanity" 5 Shot 12 people and injured 70 in a packed Denver-area movie theater in July 2012
  • Societies and Legal Systems - USA  Legal judgments based on assessment of free will (Greene & Cohen, 2004 ; Roskies, 2006)  Legal accountability - requires proof that the person 'could have done otherwise' (Burns & Bechara, 2007)  No external coercing influences (e.g. having a gun to the person’s head)  Not due to uncontrollable urges (e.g. temporary insanity)  Contract valid only if two sides have entered out of their own free will (Cohen, 1933) 6
  • Free will in the legal system  There is an assumption that free will exists  Free will as a prerequisite for accountability  Free will framed as ability to choose own course of action, free of ...  internal (drunk/insane), and  external (cops) constraints 7
  • Grand Free Will debate - Psychology 8 Roy Baumeister (2008a, 2008b, 2008c ; PPS, JCP, book) Free will exists Wegner (2002,2003;book) Skinner (1971, book) 8 Free will = illusion / FW doesn't exist Bargh (2008; 2011, book)
  • Grand FW debate - Neuro/Biology Libet etal (1979, Brain) Sam Harris (2012, book) 9 Free will = illusion / FW doesn't existFree will is possible Haggard (2008, Nature Rev) Brembs (2010, ProcRoyS-B)
  • But this debate has been going on for a while now… Democritus (5th Century BC)Epicurus (4th Century BC) “... whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach” (Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus) “The first principles of the universe are atoms and empty space; everything else is merely thought to exist” (Democritus, IX, 44) 10 Free will doesn't existFree will exists
  • Debates extend all across the ancient world... "The mind is the ruler of one’s body and the master of one’s spirit and intelligence. [...] It forbids oneself, orders oneself, voluntarily takes away, voluntarily chooses, moves oneself, and stops oneself. It can be said that the mind works in such a way that its choice will clearly display itself because nothing hinders the mind from making a choice." 11 Xunzi 荀子 (3rd Century BC)
  • "All is foreseen, but freedom is granted" (Akiva ben Joseph, 1st century, Talmud, Jewish philosophy) But it tends to get much more confusing... 12 Free will exists but so does determinism and complicated...
  • Debated for 2500 years... Interesting, but can we move beyond this debate? The psychological approach :  Rather than debating the existence of free will… Examining :  Laypersons’ understanding of free will  The belief in free will  Cognition  Consequences 13
  • A different approach - X-Philes Free will might exist, but laybeliefs are what's important Nichols (2004 ; 2011, Science) Nahmias (2005, 2006, Phil) Knobe (2007, 2011, PsycInq/Phil)
  • Why should we care about BFW? Real consequences for the person 15 Vohs & Schooler (2008, PsycSci)
  • What is "Free Will"? Many definitions, many perspectives. But a recent effort in integration has led to :  “The capacity to perform free actions” (Haggard et al., 2010)  Free actions - the acting agent could have chosen to do otherwise (Baumeister, 2008a ; Kane, 1996, 2002 ; Monroe & Malle, 2010)  availability of alternative options  capacity to freely choose among those options without internal or external coercion 16
  • Findings regarding Belief in Free Will  Less cheating, stealing (Vohs & Schooler, 2008, PsycSci)  Less aggression, more helping (Baumeister, Masicampo, & DeWall, 2009, PSPB)  More moral learning from own misdeeds (Stillman & Baumeister, 2010, JESP)  Less passive / lower conformity (Alquist, Ainsworth, Baumeister, 2012, JESP)  Higher motivation to succeed (Stillman et al. 2010, SPPS) Accountability Motivation 17
  • Consequences Cognition Belief in Free Will ContextValence Performance - Self-Control + Current FW research projects 18 + +Money + Unethical behavior Choice Outcome importance + + +
  • Consequences Cognition Performance - Self-Control + Choice <-> Belief in free will 19 + +Money + Unethical behavior Outcome importance + + + ContextValence Belief in Free Will Choice
  • Academics debating Free Will 20 Cognition Spring 2012 seminar : "what is Free Will ?"
  • Most of the references to Free Will used to center around... 21
  • Laypersons view of FW : Choice  Monroe & Malle (2010, RevPhilPyc) open-ended questions what having free will means  "the core of people’s concept of free will is a choice [...] free from internal or external constraints".  Stillman, Baumeister & Mele (2011, PhilPsyc) rated experiences as free or not free. Free experiences:  Conscious reflection / having a choice  Social action-control / Accountability 22
  • FreeWill <-> Choices / Decisions Two correlational studies  Cognition:  Seeing life as filled with choices  Associating choice with freedom  More positive attitudes towards decision situations and more satisfaction with selection outcomes 23
  • Belief in Free Will <-> Choice Study 1 N = 98 HK students ; Mage = 19.09, SDage = .54  Time 1 : Belief in free will scale (FWD, Rakos et al., 2008)  Time 2 (two months) :  Choice cognitive association task (Stephens etal., 2011, JPSP)  Choice scales  Results : Higher belief in free will...  Associate choice with freedom  Higher preference for having choice  Higher perceived ability to make choices 24
  • Belief in Free Will <-> Choice Study 2 N=63 US MTurk ; Mage = 38.73 ; SDage = 12.92  Belief in Free Will scales (FWD & FAD+)  Recall task 4 scenarios : purchasing electronics, watching television, eating breakfast and voting (Savani et al., 2010, PsycSci ; study 4b)  Describe the situation  Is the action a choice? (vs. no choice)  Choice ratings : difficulty, enjoyment, satisfaction 25
  • Belief in Free Will <-> Choice Study 2 Results : Those with higher belief in free will...  Perceive their actions to be choices  Perceive choices as less difficult  Higher enjoyment in making choices  Higher satisfaction with outcomes 26
  • Freedom <-> Choices / Decisions Two experiments  Cognition: "I chose, therefore I'm free"  Empirically - Recalling choices / Making choices would activate the belief in free will
  • Choice -> Belief in free will Study 3  N=114 MTurk, Mage = 32.70, SDage = 10.63  Choice Manipulation (adaptation Savani & Rattan, 2012, PsycSci)  Recall actions versus choices between alternatives  5 things x morning/noon/evening/night the day before  Measure belief in free will (FWD & FAD+ scales) 28
  • Choice -> Belief in free will Study 3 29 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 Choice Control BeliefinFreeWill(Self) 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4 4.1 4.2 Choice Control BeliefinFreeWill(General)
  • Choice -> Belief in free will Study 4  N=166 MTurk, Mage = 30.31, SDage = 8.35  Choice Manipulation (adaptation Vohs et al., 2008, JPSP)  High choice : 4 pens  Low choice : 2 pens  No choice : Rating pens  No choice : Describing pens  Control : Reporting weather  Measure belief in free will (FWD & FAD+ scales) 30
  • Choice -> Belief in free will Study 4 : General 31
  • Choice -> Belief in free will Study 4 : Self 32
  • Consequences Cognition - Self-Control + Belief in free will -> Outcomes 33 + +Money + Unethical behavior Outcome importance + + + ContextValence Belief in Free Will Choice Performance
  • Consequences of Belief in Free Will  Less passive / lower conformity (Alquist, Ainsworth, Baumeister, 2012, JESP)  Higher motivation to succeed (Stillman et al. 2010, SPPS) Proactivity / Motivation 34
  • Freedom <-> Choices / Decisions  Motivation : “If I’m not free – why bother?” "I didn't choose this" (Fujita, 2011)  Perceived ability : “If I’m not free – I can’t really choose and make decisions!”  Outcomes : “If I’m not free – it’s not my fault, I am not to blame for poor performance" 3535 Consequences Belief in Free Will Performance Academic ; Job +
  • Self Control  “An agent’s capacity to sustain, stop, amplify, or otherwise modify an incipient or unwanted response or action” (Haggard, Mele, O’Connor, & Vohs, 2010)  Ability to resist temptation & overcome self 36
  • Self Control & Outcomes  Self Control: One of the best predictors for positive outcomes in life  Academic outcomes (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005 ; Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriguez, 1989; Schmitz & Skinner, 1993)  Job performance (Porath & Bateman, 2006)  Findings: Implicit lay theories of willpower counteract the effects of ego-depletion (Boucher & Kofos, 2012 ; Job, Dweck, & Walton, 2010) 37
  • Interaction : Self Control & BFW  Ways to affect self- control:  Initiating self-control strategies  Influencing the motivation to exert self-control  Influence the "resource/energy pool" from which self-control draws 38 Consequences Belief in Free Will Performance Self-Control ++
  • BFW - Academic Performance Study 1 : Design  N = 614, HK undergrad students, Mage = 18.90  IV : Time 1 (beginning of semester) - BFW scale (Rakos etal, 2008), self-control scale (Tangney et al., 2004)  DV : Time 2 (throughout semester) - Course performance -  mid terms : multiple choice questions  finals: MCs, open questions, case essays  final score: mid-term + finals + participation + attendance + research component + group project 39
  • BFW - Academic Performance Study 1 : Results  Main effect for BFW : Midterms (MCs).  Main effect for SC : Finals / Participation.  BFW-SC Interaction : Final course score, Mid- term exam, & Participation. 40
  • BFW - Academic Performance Study 1 : Results  Interaction plot: 41 -0.1 -0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 Low Self Control High Self Control Low FW High FW
  • BFW - Job Performance Study 2 : Design N = 218, MTurk, Mage = 31.80, SDage = 11.09  Working on MTurk = 22.05 months (SD = 14.91)  # of tasks = 6,549.79 (SD = 16,187.37)  Hours/week = 17.45 (SD = 20.65)  Main source of income (N = 74 ; 33.9%)  IV : BFW scale (Rakos etal, 2008), SC scale (Tangney et al., 2004),  Controls: Job-autonomy scale (Hackman & Oldham, 1980), Job self efficacy scale (Spreitzer, 1995).  DV : Job performance -  Approval rate provided by MTurk / Self report approval rate  Self assessment scale (Pruden & Reese, 1972) 42
  • BFW - Job Performance Study 2 : Main results  Belief in free will the most powerful predictor of performance  Main effect even when controlling for job- autonomy and job self-efficacy  Interaction with self control 43
  • Study 2 : Results, interaction plot Pattern differences?  Culture freedom  Age  Task choice  Task difficulty 44 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 Low Self Control High Self Control Approvalrate Low FW High FW
  • BFW - Job Satisfaction Study 3  Sample : The World Values Survey (WVS, 2008), second wave 2005-2007; N = 14,062  IV : Belief in free will (items a173 & f198)  DV: Job Satisfaction  Results : Effect size = ~.22 45
  • BFW - National performance Study 3  Sample : WVS (2008), 2nd wave 2005-2007; Countries : N = 42 to 50.  IV : National aggregate of belief in free will  Controls: Gini coefficient, political freedom, etc. (Human Development Index 2013 measures)  DV: Per capita GDP (=GDP/population); Workforce productivity (=GDP/workforce)  Results : Higher BFW average <-> better PPP and labor productivity (ΔR2 = .14 / .15) 46
  • In summary  Diverse methods, diverse samples, diverse contexts  Free will as a core concept in modern society and in the psyche of the modern person  BFW can be activated + individual differences  BFW tied to choice / accountability  BFW is associated with real outcomes / BFW interacts with self-control 47
  • Thank you  For more information, visit http://mgto.org or email me at filian@connect.ust.hk 48