Choice Isn’t Simple. Reply to Pickard


Pickard’s contribution reminds me that conceptualizing choice is no simple matter. Pickard sees choice as entirely voluntary, while I argue that choice is only partially voluntary. Choices are based on appraisals of situations, which fluctuate due to external circumstances and internal states such as emotion and mood. Habit itself competes with volition, and all these parameters vary with development. Psychological factors such as delay discounting and especially one's belief in one's agency are critical for volitional choice as well.

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Correspondence to Marc Lewis.

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Lewis, M. Choice Isn’t Simple. Reply to Pickard. Neuroethics 10, 181–183 (2017).

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  • Choice only partly voluntary
  • Psychological biases
  • Appraisal and circumstances
  • Mood and emotion
  • Predispositions
  • Role of self-efficacy
  • Neurobiology of disconnection
  • Resurgence of volition
  • No truce with disease model
  • Responsibility and change