ORIGINAL PAPER
Does belief in free will make us feel good and satisfied?
 
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Submission date: 2017-01-02
Final revision date: 2017-04-03
Acceptance date: 2017-05-04
Online publication date: 2018-01-30
Publication date: 2018-01-30
 
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(2):109–117
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Recent studies have shown that maintaining a strong belief in free will may be associated with well-being at the workplace (Stillman, Baumeister, Vohs, Lambert, Fincham, & Brawer, 2010), more frequent attainment of pursued goals and emotional stability (Stillman, Baumeister, & Mele, 2011).

Participants and procedure:
Two studies were conducted to investigate to what extent belief in free will (as opposed to belief in determinism) may be a good predictor of subjective well-being and ill-being (poor health condition). Study 1 investigated a sample of employees (N = 214): 106 women and 108 men. The second research was conducted among 436 students: 236 women and 198 men.

Results:
The results of study 1 showed that those who believe in free will are satisfied with their lives and feel healthy. The results of study 2 showed that those who believe in free will feel better (have more positive emotions) and are more satisfied with their lives than those who believe in determinism.

Conclusions:
Belief in free will has the potential for improving subjective well-being and belief in determinism (fate) lowers subjective well-being. What is more, the current study has also confirmed the results obtained by other researchers (Paulhus & Carey, 1994, Carey & Paulhus, 2013). The reliability of the free will subscale was replicated. Also, we confirmed a positive correlation between belief in free will and unpredictability, and between fatalistic determinism and unpredictability. The results of the present research proved that there is a need to develop and to promote belief in free will in societies and social policies because it can increase well-being.

 
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