Four studies tested the hypothesis that a weaker belief in free will would be related to feeling less gratitude. In Studies 1a and 1b, a trait measure of free will belief was positively correlated with a measure of dispositional gratitude. In Study 2, participants whose free will belief was weakened (vs. unchanged or bolstered) reported feeling less grateful for events in their past. Study 3 used a laboratory induction of gratitude. Participants with an experimentally reduced (vs. increased) belief in free (...) will reported feeling less grateful for the favor. In Study 4, a reduced (vs. increased) belief in free will led to less gratitude in a hypothetical favor scenario. This effect was serially mediated by perceiving the benefactor as having less free will and therefore as being less sincerely motivated. These findings suggest that belief in free will is an important part of being able to feel gratitude. (shrink)
Thought uses meaning but not necessarily language. Meaning, in the form of a set of possible concepts and ideas, is a nonphysical reality that lay waiting for brains to become smart enough to represent these ideas. Thus, the brain evolved, whereas meaning was discovered, and language was invented – collectively – as a tool to help the brain use meaning.
Do philosophic views affect job performance? The authors found that possessing a belief in free will predicted better career attitudes and actual job performance. The effect of free will beliefs on job performance indicators were over and above well-established predictors such as conscientiousness, locus of control, and Protestant work ethic. In Study 1, stronger belief in free will corresponded to more positive attitudes about expected career success. In Study 2, job performance was evaluated objectively and independently by a supervisor. Results (...) indicated that employees who espoused free will beliefs were given better work performance evaluations than those who disbelieve in free will, presumably because belief in free will facilitates exerting control over one’s actions. (shrink)
Tomasello argues that humans’ sense of moral obligation emerges early in development, relies on a shared “we,” and serves as the foundation of cooperation. This perspective complements our theoretical view of the human self as information agent. The shared “we” promotes not only proximal cooperative goals but also distal ones via the construction of shared understanding – it promotes culture.
Mutations within the Steel and Dominant Spotting loci of mice have led to the recent identification of a growth factor/receptor system required for the normal development of germ cells, pigment cells and hematopoietic cells. Interactions between the products of these genes, Steel factor and c‐Kit respectively, have now been demonstrated to influence various developmental processes, including survival, proliferation, and/or differentiation of cells in a tissue specific manner. In addition, our current understanding of the molecular basis of various Steel and Dominant (...) Spotting alleles coupled with the emerging information on the expression pattern of steel factor and c‐kit transcripts during development, is now beginning to explain the pleiotropic affects of these mutations. (shrink)