The feeling of being in control of one’s own actions is a
strong subjective experience. However, discoveries in psychology and
neuroscience challenge the validity of this experience and suggest
that free will is just an illusion. This raises a question: What would
happen if people started to disbelieve in free will? Previous research
has shown that low control beliefs affect performance and motivation.
Recently, it has been shown that undermining free-will beliefs
influences social behavior. In the study reported here, we
investigated whether undermining beliefs in free will affects brain
correlates of voluntary motor preparation. Our results showed that the
readiness potential was reduced in individuals induced to disbelieve
in free will. This effect was evident more than 1 s before
participants consciously decided to move, a finding that suggests that
the manipulation influenced intentional actions at preconscious
stages. Our findings indicate that abstract belief systems might have
a much more fundamental effect than previously thought.
Has anyone posted this yet? Hard to explain what brain correlates are
doing responding to an illusion...
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