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Conscious Cogn. 2014 Apr;25:27-41. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

The free will inventory: measuring beliefs about agency and responsibility.

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Department of Philosophy, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Psychology, Emory University, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Philosophy, Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3994, Atlanta, GA 30302-3994, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Philosophy, The University of Michigan, 2215 Angell Hall, 435 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Psychology, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424, United States. Electronic address:


In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore the complex network of people's associated beliefs and attitudes about free will, determinism, choice, the soul, predictability, responsibility, and punishment. Having presented the construction and validation of FWI, we discuss several ways that it could be used in future research, highlight some as yet unanswered questions that are ripe for interdisciplinary investigation, and encourage researchers to join us in our efforts to answer these questions.


Determinism; Dualism; Folk intuitions; Free will; Psychometrics; Punishment; Responsibility; Scale; Soul

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