Azim’s article on Free Will, Neuroscience and Punishment now out in Psychological Science

Azim’s article on Free Will, Neuroscience and Punishment now out in Psychological Science

In collaboration with an all-star list of researchers, Azim’s new article on how learning about the brain reduces people’s attitudes about blame and retributive punishment is now published in Psychological Science. A pdf of the paper is available here. The abstract is appended below: If free-will beliefs support attributions of moral responsibility, then reducing these beliefs should make people less retributive in their attitudes...

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Our new paper suggests the desire to punish motivates free will belief

Our new paper suggests the desire to punish motivates free will belief

Cory Clark leads our new JPSP paper presenting 5 studies showing how a desire for comeuppance increases individual’s belief in free will. Abstract: Belief in free will is a pervasive phenomenon that has important consequences for prosocial actions and punitive judgments, but little research has investigated why free will beliefs are so widespread. Across 5 studies using experimental, survey, and archival data and multiple measures of free...

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Heaven, Hell and Happiness

Heaven, Hell and Happiness

Following up on an earlier paper with Mijke Rhemtulla on the connections between crime and national rates of heaven and hell belief, Lara Aknin and I have been looking at how the balance of these religious beliefs predict national happiness rates. Our new paper, recently published in PLoS One shows a very similar connection to the one we see with crime rates. Here‘s a link to the paper, titled The Emotional Toll of Hell: Cross-National and...

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Our paper on how Heaven and Hell Beliefs Predict National Crime Rates now up at PLoS One

Our paper on how Heaven and Hell Beliefs Predict National Crime Rates now up at PLoS One

Our new paper with Mijke Rhemtulla on how nations’ rates of belief in Heaven and Hell oppositely predict crime rates has just been posted at PLoS One. Click here to see the paper (open-access to everyone), and here to see the University of Oregon press release. Abstract: Researchers have proposed that the emergence of religion was a cultural adaptation necessary for promoting self-control. Self-control, in turn, may serve as a...

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