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Professional judges’ disbelief in free will does not decrease punishment

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Abstract
There is a debate in psychology and philosophy on the societal consequences of casting doubts about individuals’ belief in free will. Research suggests that experimentally reducing free will beliefs might affect how individuals evaluate others’ behavior. Past research has demonstrated that reduced free will beliefs decrease laypersons’ tendency toward retributive punishment. This finding has been used as an argument for the idea that promoting anti-free will viewpoints in the public media might have severe consequences for the legal system because it may move judges toward softer retributive punishments. However, actual implications for the legal system can only be drawn by investigating professional judges. In the present research, we investigated whether judges ( N = 87) are affected by reading anti-free will messages. The results demonstrate that although reading anti-free will texts reduces judges’ belief in free will, their recommended sentences are not influenced by their (manipulated) belief in free will.
Keywords
Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, belief in free will, social perception, punishment, judges, offenders, BELIEF, PEOPLE

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Citation

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MLA
Genschow, Oliver, et al. “Professional Judges’ Disbelief in Free Will Does Not Decrease Punishment.” SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE, vol. 12, no. 3, 2021, pp. 357–62, doi:10.1177/1948550620915055.
APA
Genschow, O., Hawickhorst, H., Rigoni, D., Aschermann, E., & Brass, M. (2021). Professional judges’ disbelief in free will does not decrease punishment. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE, 12(3), 357–362. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620915055
Chicago author-date
Genschow, Oliver, Heinz Hawickhorst, Davide Rigoni, Ellen Aschermann, and Marcel Brass. 2021. “Professional Judges’ Disbelief in Free Will Does Not Decrease Punishment.” SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE 12 (3): 357–62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620915055.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Genschow, Oliver, Heinz Hawickhorst, Davide Rigoni, Ellen Aschermann, and Marcel Brass. 2021. “Professional Judges’ Disbelief in Free Will Does Not Decrease Punishment.” SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE 12 (3): 357–362. doi:10.1177/1948550620915055.
Vancouver
1.
Genschow O, Hawickhorst H, Rigoni D, Aschermann E, Brass M. Professional judges’ disbelief in free will does not decrease punishment. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE. 2021;12(3):357–62.
IEEE
[1]
O. Genschow, H. Hawickhorst, D. Rigoni, E. Aschermann, and M. Brass, “Professional judges’ disbelief in free will does not decrease punishment,” SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 357–362, 2021.
@article{8704289,
  abstract     = {{There is a debate in psychology and philosophy on the societal consequences of casting doubts about individuals’ belief in free will. Research suggests that experimentally reducing free will beliefs might affect how individuals evaluate others’ behavior. Past research has demonstrated that reduced free will beliefs decrease laypersons’ tendency toward retributive punishment. This finding has been used as an argument for the idea that promoting anti-free will viewpoints in the public media might have severe consequences for the legal system because it may move judges toward softer retributive punishments. However, actual implications for the legal system can only be drawn by investigating professional judges. In the present research, we investigated whether judges ( N = 87) are affected by reading anti-free will messages. The results demonstrate that although reading anti-free will texts reduces judges’ belief in free will, their recommended sentences are not influenced by their (manipulated) belief in free will.}},
  author       = {{Genschow, Oliver and Hawickhorst, Heinz and Rigoni, Davide and Aschermann, Ellen and Brass, Marcel}},
  issn         = {{1948-5506}},
  journal      = {{SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE}},
  keywords     = {{Clinical Psychology,Social Psychology,belief in free will,social perception,punishment,judges,offenders,BELIEF,PEOPLE}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{357--362}},
  title        = {{Professional judges’ disbelief in free will does not decrease punishment}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1948550620915055}},
  volume       = {{12}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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