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
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.

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.

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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