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Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others' behavior

Oliver Genschow (UGent) , Davide Rigoni (UGent) and Marcel Brass (UGent)
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Abstract
Free will is a cornerstone of our society, and psychological research demonstrates that questioning its existence impacts social behavior. ;In six studies, we tested whether believing in free will is related to the correspondence bias, which reflects people's automatic tendency to overestimate the influence of internal as compared to external factors when interpreting others' behavior. All studies demonstrate a positive relationship between the strength of the belief in free will and the correspondence bias. Moreover, in two experimental studies, we showed that weakening participants' belief in free will leads to a reduction of the correspondence bias. Finally, the last study demonstrates that believing in free will predicts prescribed punishment and reward behavior, and that this relation is mediated by the correspondence bias. Overall, these studies show that believing in free will impacts fundamental social-cognitive processes that are involved in the understanding of others' behavior.
Keywords
CORRESPONDENCE BIAS, WEAKENING BELIEF, SOCIAL COGNITION, ERROR, DISBELIEF, RESPONSIBILITY, PERFORMANCE, COMPLEXITY, PUNISHMENT, PREDICTS

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Chicago
Genschow, Oliver, Davide Rigoni, and Marcel Brass. 2017. “Belief in Free Will Affects Causal Attributions When Judging Others’ Behavior.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (38): 10071–10076.
APA
Genschow, O., Rigoni, D., & Brass, M. (2017). Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 114(38), 10071–10076.
Vancouver
1.
Genschow O, Rigoni D, Brass M. Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2017;114(38):10071–6.
MLA
Genschow, Oliver, Davide Rigoni, and Marcel Brass. “Belief in Free Will Affects Causal Attributions When Judging Others’ Behavior.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 114.38 (2017): 10071–10076. Print.
@article{8547848,
  abstract     = {Free will is a cornerstone of our society, and psychological research demonstrates that questioning its existence impacts social behavior. ;In six studies, we tested whether believing in free will is related to the correspondence bias, which reflects people's automatic tendency to overestimate the influence of internal as compared to external factors when interpreting others' behavior. All studies demonstrate a positive relationship between the strength of the belief in free will and the correspondence bias. Moreover, in two experimental studies, we showed that weakening participants' belief in free will leads to a reduction of the correspondence bias. Finally, the last study demonstrates that believing in free will predicts prescribed punishment and reward behavior, and that this relation is mediated by the correspondence bias. Overall, these studies show that believing in free will impacts fundamental social-cognitive processes that are involved in the understanding of others' behavior.},
  author       = {Genschow, Oliver and Rigoni, Davide and Brass, Marcel},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  journal      = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {38},
  pages        = {10071--10076},
  title        = {Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others' behavior},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1701916114},
  volume       = {114},
  year         = {2017},
}

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