The Psychology of Free Will, Love, and Other Cool Stuff

The January issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science (the same journal that gave us the alien IAT) has some really interesting, and short, review articles. Unfortunately, they're only available with a subscription, but for those of you who are lucky enough to have access to a university library, I thought I'd point you to them in case you're interested.

The most interesting of the articles, I think, is by Roy Baumeister, and is titled "Free Will in Scientific Psychology." Here's the abstract:

ABSTRACT--Some actions are freer than others, and the difference is palpably important in terms of inner process, subjective perception, and social consequences. Psychology can study the difference between freer and less free actions without making dubious metaphysical commitments. Human evolution seems to have created a relatively new, more complex form of action control that corresponds to popular notions of free will. It is marked by self-control and rational choice, both of which are highly adaptive, especially for functioning within culture. The processes that create these forms of free will may be biologically costly and therefore are only used occasionally, so that people are likely to remain only incompletely self-disciplined, virtuous, and rational.

The issue also has an article by Reis and Aron titled "Love: What Is It, Why Does It Matter, and How Does It Operate?", one by Bargh and Morsella titled "The Unconscious Mind", and one by Haidt simply titled "Morality." They're all pretty interesting, so if you can, check 'em out.