Free Will

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016

In this book, I explain why the scientific experiments that are most often claimed to prove that there's no free will in fact leave the existence of free will wide open.

I regard this as good news. Here's one reason I do. There's evidence that lowering people's confidence in the existence of free will increases bad behavior. In one study (Vohs and Schooler 2008), people who read passages in which scientists deny that free will exists are more likely to cheat on a subsequent task.

In another experiment (Baumeister et al. 2009), college students presented with a series of sentences denying the existence of free will proceeded to behave more aggressively than a control group: they served larger amounts of spicy salsa to people who said they dislike spicy food, despite being told these people had to eat everything on their plates.

Free, Alfred Mele,