According to previous research, threatening people’s belief in free will may undermine moral judgments and behavior. Four studies tested this claim. Study 1 used a Velten technique to threaten people’s belief in free will and found no effects on moral behavior, judgments of blame, and punishment decisions. Study 2 used six different threats to free will and failed to find effects on judgments of blame and wrongness. Study 3 found no effects on moral judgment when manipulating general free will beliefs but found strong effects when manipulating the perceived choice capacity of the judged agent. Study 4 used pretested narratives that varied agents’ apparent free will and found that perceived choice capacity mediated the relationship between free will and blame. These results suggest that people’s general beliefs about whether free will exists have no impact on moral judgments but specific judgments about the agent’s choice capacity do.

This isn’t the free will worth looking for: general free will beliefs do not influence moral judgments, agent-specific choice ascriptions do

Brady, Garrett L.;
2017-01-01

Abstract

According to previous research, threatening people’s belief in free will may undermine moral judgments and behavior. Four studies tested this claim. Study 1 used a Velten technique to threaten people’s belief in free will and found no effects on moral behavior, judgments of blame, and punishment decisions. Study 2 used six different threats to free will and failed to find effects on judgments of blame and wrongness. Study 3 found no effects on moral judgment when manipulating general free will beliefs but found strong effects when manipulating the perceived choice capacity of the judged agent. Study 4 used pretested narratives that varied agents’ apparent free will and found that perceived choice capacity mediated the relationship between free will and blame. These results suggest that people’s general beliefs about whether free will exists have no impact on moral judgments but specific judgments about the agent’s choice capacity do.
2016
Monroe, Andrew E.; Brady, Garrett L.; Malle, Bertram F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4051831
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