Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):21-32 (2010)

Recent research suggests that one can have the feeling of being the cause of an action’s outcome, even in the absence of a prior intention to act. That is, experienced self-agency over behavior increases when outcome representations are primed outside of awareness, prior to executing the action and observing the resulting outcome. Based on the notion that behavior can be represented at different levels, we propose that priming outcome representations is more likely to augment self-agency experiences when the primed representation corresponds with a person’s behavior representation level. Three experiments, using different priming and self-agency tasks, both measuring and manipulating the level of behavior representation, confirmed this idea. Priming high level outcome representations enhanced experienced self-agency over behavior more strongly when behavior was represented at a higher level, rather than a lower level. Thus, priming effects on self-agency experiences critically depend on behavior representation level
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2009.12.004
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The Illusion of Conscious Will.R. Holton - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):218-221.

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