Home         Philosophy         Free Will

  

Research on Free Will

 

See this page for a short questionnaire on the self, free will and agency.  I'm interested in testing this questionnaire on subjects who have not been exposed to literature on the free will issue, the idea being to measure popular, "pre-theoretical" beliefs and attitudes.  If you have students you can impose on, or if you can persuade a group of co-workers or friends to fill this out, please be in touch.  I'll help you to make arrangements so that the data are collected properly.

 

Self and Science Questionnaire

Instructions:

Below you will find statements about the self, science and free will. Please read each one carefully and then decide whether you agree or not with the statement. Circle (or place an X by) a number, 1 through 5, showing whether you (1) strongly disagree, (2) somewhat disagree, (3) are unsure, (4) somewhat agree, or (5) strongly agree.  Please choose the number that represents what you honestly feel, not what you suppose you should feel, about a statement. There are no right or wrong responses.  Circle a 3 (unsure) only if you feel neutral about a statement or don't understand it; otherwise try to determine whether you somewhat agree or disagree, even if you don't completely or strongly agree.  After finishing the statements please fill in the additional information requested. Do not put your name on this questionnaire. All responses and information are strictly confidential and anonymous. Your participation in this survey is very much appreciated.

1 = strongly disagree,  2 = somewhat disagree3 = unsure,   4= somewhat agree,   5 = strongly agree

1)  I'm not just the product of environmental and genetic factors and their interaction.

            1          2          3          4          5

2)  The essential me is something besides my character, thoughts, feelings and behavior.

            1          2          3          4          5

3)  Even if all my choices were determined, I'd still have free will.

            1          2          3          4          5

4)  I'm basically just my brain and my body.

            1          2          3          4          5

5)  There's a non-physical part of me (e.g., a soul, spirit, or energy) which determines my actions but which is not itself determined by my genes, environment, or other factors.

            1          2          3          4          5

6)  When I make a decision it's determined by the strongest desire winning out.

            1          2          3          4          5

7)  When I make up my mind, it's not just a matter of how my brain works.

            1          2          3          4          5

8)  If my actions are completely determined, then I can't be held responsible for what I do.

            1          2          3          4          5

9)  The real me is something that physics, biology, and psychology will never pin down.

            1          2          3          4          5

10)  Even if my choices were completely determined, I'd still have free will insofar as I can deliberate about what to do next and am not prevented from doing it.

            1          2          3          4          5

11)  The explanation for what I do lies in science.

            1          2          3          4          5

12)  If all my choices were determined, I wouldn’t have free will.

            1          2          3          4          5

13)  My character is basically the result of my genes and my upbringing.

            1          2          3          4          5

14)  I have free will in that at least some of my choices are not determined by environment, heredity, or other factors.

            1          2          3          4          5

 

Please provide the following information (all information is strictly confidential, all responses anonymous):

Age:_____ Sex:_____ Race/Ethnicity:_________________ Educational level attained:____________

Religious preference:____________________ Political party affiliation:_________________

Occupation:_____________________________ Position:__________________ _______

Marital status:__________ Number of children, if any:____ Annual family income:_____________

Parents' socio-economic (class) status: __lower __lower middle __middle __upper middle __upper

Your socio-economic status: __lower __lower middle __middle __upper middle __upper

__________________________________________________________________________________________

If you think someone you know would like to participate in this survey, please copy it for them and have them contact me. If you are interested in the results please let me know. You can return completed questionnaires to:

Tom Clark,  Center for Naturalism, P.O. Box 441705, Somerville, MA 02144    617-480-8846

email: twc@naturalism.org

Many thanks for your help on this.

 

  Thomas W. Clark

 

Home         Philosophy         Free Will