MC SoCog Lab

Free Will & Myths of Psychology

We’re exploring how introductory psychology student’s beliefs about free will, determinism and mind-body dualism are associated with their opinions about psychology as a science and with their agreement about several myths about human behavior (e.g. humans only use 10% of their brain power), and how this may change over time.

Free Will, Performance, & Attributions

We’ve also studied how individual differences in a belief in free will are associated with performance differences on a motor skill task, for example playing a maze game.  We found that participants with relatively higher beliefs in free will significantly outperformed participants with weaker beliefs on the maze game and that high free will belief participant pairs made more attempts to succeed at the game than miss-matched pairs.

Free Will, Guilt, & Responsibility

Currently we are researching how participants’ beliefs about free will could influence their decisions about guilt and responsibility relating to a criminal trial involving the alleged self-defense shooting death of a victim.