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Friday, September 1, 2017

Political differences in free will belief are driven by differences in moralization

Clark, C. J., Everett, J. A. C., Luguri, J. B., Earp, B. D., Ditto, P., & Shariff, A.
PsyArXiv. (2017, August 1).


Five studies tested whether political conservatives’ stronger free will beliefs are driven by their broader view of morality, and thus a broader motivation to assign responsibility. On an individual difference level, Study 1 found that political conservatives’ higher moral wrongness judgments accounted for their higher belief in free will.In Study 2, conservatives ascribed more free will for negative events than liberals,while no differences emerged for positive events. For actions ideologically equivalent in perceived moral wrongness, free will judgments also did not differ (Study 3), and actions that liberals perceived as more wrong, liberals judged as more free(Study 4). Finally, higher wrongness judgments mediated the effect of conservatism on free will beliefs(Study 5). Higher free will beliefs among conservatives may be explained by conservatives’ tendency to moralize, which strengthens motivation to justify blame with stronger belief in free will and personal accountability.

The preprint research article is here.