Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21341
Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The making of might-have-beens: Effects of free will belief on counterfactual thinking
Authors: Alquist, Jessica
Ainsworth, Sarah
Baumeister, Roy
Daly, Michael
Stillman, Tyler
Contact Email: michael.daly@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: free will
counterfactual thinking
beliefs
learning
Issue Date: Feb-2015
Publisher: SAGE
Citation: Alquist J, Ainsworth S, Baumeister R, Daly M & Stillman T (2015) The making of might-have-beens: Effects of free will belief on counterfactual thinking, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41 (2), pp. 268-283.
Abstract: Counterfactual thoughts are based on the assumption that one situation could result in multiple possible outcomes. This assumption underlies most theories of free will and contradicts deterministic views that there is only one possible outcome of any situation. Three studies tested the hypothesis that stronger belief in free will would lead to more counterfactual thinking. Experimental manipulations (Studies 1-2) and a measure (Studies 3-4) of belief in free will were linked to increased counterfactual thinking in response to autobiographical (Studies 1, 3, and 4) and hypothetical (Study 2) events. Belief in free will also predicted the kind of counterfactuals generated. Belief in free will was associated with an increase in the generation of self and upward counterfactuals, which have been shown to be particularly useful for learning. These findings fit the view that belief in free will is promoted by societies because it facilitates learning and culturally valued change.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21341
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167214563673
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Texas Tech University
Florida State University
Florida State University
Management Work and Organisation
Southern Utah University

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