The Ghost in the System: Where Free Will Lurks in Human Minds

The Ghost in the System: Where Free Will Lurks in Human Minds

By late January 2002, the FBI had strategically secured what documents remained at Enron’s Houston headquarters following evidence that employees were destroying documents that implicated them in wrong-doing in what was one of the greatest accounting scandals in United States history. Company staff fed reams of papers through shredders, one employee even taking home some of the scrapped documents to use as packing material (CNN, 2002). With the Enron scandal a prominent fixture in the news throughout late 2001... / more

Free Will in Social Psychology

Free Will in Social Psychology

The topic of free will has challenged thinkers and inspired debate across multiple disciplines for centuries. What can social psychology contribute? Social psychology is unlikely to provide a convincing answer to questions about whether people have free will. However, social psychology can provide considerable information about the inner processes and the control of behavior. To thinkers who believe in free will, social psychology provides vital evidence about how it happens and is used. To thinkers who... / more

Do the Math: Cognitive Load Attenuates Negative Feelings

Do the Math: Cognitive Load Attenuates Negative Feelings

Last October (2008), a large email provider launched a new application, the so-called mail goggles, that requires people to quickly solve five moderately complex math problems before they are allowed to send out any email. By default, these mail goggles are only active late night on the weekend (which led some people to rename this application ‘Beer Goggles’), but it can be adjusted to any self-chosen time window. The application is meant to withhold people from sending emails they would later... / more

Culture and Health Psychology: Insights from a Socio-Cultural Perspective

Culture and Health Psychology: Insights from a Socio-Cultural Perspective

The beginning of the 20th century featured an understanding of health that was dominated by a biomedical perspective, characterized by a reductionist point of view in which health was defined as the absence of illness. This view has long been replaced by a biopsychosocial model that emphasizes the role played by socio-cultural forces in the shaping of health (and illness) and related psychological experiences (Engel, 1977). In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as... / more

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