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Exceptionality Effect in Agency: Exceptional Choices Attributed Higher Free Will Than Routine

Résumé : Exceptionality effect is the widely cited phenomenon that people experience stronger regret for negative outcomes that are a result of more exceptional circumstances, compared to routine. We hypothesize that the exceptionality-routine attribution asymmetry would extend to attributions of freedom and responsibility. In Experiment 1 (N = 338), we found that people attributed more free will to an exceptional behavior compared to a routine one, when the exception was due to self-choice rather than external circumstances. In Experiment 2 (N = 561), we replicated and generalized the effect of exceptionality on attributions of free will to other scenarios, with support for the classic exceptionality effect regarding regret and an extension to moral responsibility. In Experiment 3 (N = 128), we replicated these effects in a within-subject design. When using a classic experimental philosophy paradigm contrasting a deterministic and an indeterministic universe, we found that the results were robust across both contexts. We conclude that there is a consistent support for a link between exceptionality and free will attributions.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02976662
Contributor : Adrien Fillon <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 2:58:18 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 3:35:48 AM

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Adrien Alejandro Fillon, Anthony Lantian, Gilad Feldman, Ahogni Ngbala. Exceptionality Effect in Agency: Exceptional Choices Attributed Higher Free Will Than Routine. 2020. ⟨hal-02976662⟩

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