Advertisement

Freedom of Choice and Moral Behavior

Chapter
  • 358 Downloads
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (BLSC, volume 31)

Abstract

The relationship between freedom of choice as a psychological experience of an individual and his social behavior has attracted growing interest among psychologists during the past 20 years (Harvey & Harris, 1977; Harvey, Harris, & Lightner, 1979). First came the famous modification of dissonance theory proposed by Brehm and Cohen (1962), who ascribed a crucial role to the perceived volition (or freedom of choice) in arousing postdecisional dissonance. In a number of studies performed in the counterattitudinal paradigm (cf. Harvey & Mills, 1971; Linder, Cooper, & Jones, 1967; Sherman, 1970), it was consistently demonstrated that typical dissonance effects—consisting of a greater postdecisional attitude change under low rather than high external justification— are observed only when a person decides freely to engage in counterattitudinal behavior. As a result of these studies experimental psychologists had evidence for the first time suggesting the considerable impact of freedom of choice on an individual’s social behavior in the domain of attitude change.

Keywords

Moral Behavior Choice Condition Experimental Social Psychology Personal Standard Personal Importance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ajzen, I. Attribution of dispositions to an actor: Effects of perceived decision freedom and behavioral Utilities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1971, 18, 144–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berkowitz, L. Reactance and the unwillingness to help others. Psychological Bulletin, 1973, 79, 310–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brehm, J. W. A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  4. Brehm, J. W., & Cohen, A. R. Explorations in cognitive dissonance. New York: Wiley, 1962.Google Scholar
  5. Brehm, J. W., & Cole, A. Effect of favor which reduces freedom. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1966, 3, 420–426.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buss, A. H. The psychology of aggression. New York: Wiley, 1961.Google Scholar
  7. Collins, B. E., & Hoyt, M. F. Personal responsibility for consequences: An integration and extension of the “forced compliance” literature. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1972, 8, 558–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DeCharms, R. Personal causation. New York: Academic Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  9. Freedman, J. L. Transgression, compliance and guilt. In J. R. Macauley & L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior. New York: Academic Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  10. Harvey, J. H. Attribution of freedom. In J. Harvey, W. J. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 1). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1976.Google Scholar
  11. Harvey, J. H., & Harris, B. Social psychology: An attributional approach. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby, 1977.Google Scholar
  12. Harvey, J. H., & Mills, J. Effect of a difficult opportunity to revoke a counterattitudinal action upon attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1971, 18, 201–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harvey, J. H., Harris, B., & Barnes, R. D. Actor-observer differences in the perceptions of responsibility and freedom. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 101–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harvey, J. H., Harris, B., & Lightner, J. M. Perceived freedom as a central concept in psychological theory and research. In L. C. Perlmuter & R. A. Monty (Eds.), Choice and perceived control. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1979.Google Scholar
  15. Horowitz, J. A. Effects of choice and locus of dependence on helping behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1968, 8, 373–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jones, R. A. Volunteering to help: The effect of choice, dependence, and anticipated dependence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, 14, 121–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Karylowski, J. Self-focused attention, prosocial norms and prosocial behavior. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 1979, 10, 56–66.Google Scholar
  18. Kiesler, C. R. The psychology of commitment. New York: Academic Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  19. Kofta, M. Freedom of choice and autonomous regulation: Outline of a theory. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 1980, 11, 13–21.Google Scholar
  20. Kofta, M. Freedom to choose among modes of helping, value system, and the willingness to help. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 1982, 13, 13–21.Google Scholar
  21. Kofta, M., & Michalowska, K. Freedom of a role choice and resistance to social pressure. Studia Psychologiczne, 1980, 19, 573–73.Google Scholar
  22. Kofta, M., Dziubak, K., & Stanczyk, A. [Freedom to choose a partner, value system and aggressive behavior.] Unpublished data, Institute of Psychology, University of Warsaw, 1980.Google Scholar
  23. Kruglanski, A. W., & Cohen, M. Attributed freedom and personal causation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1973, 26, 245–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Linder, D. E., Cooper, & Jones, E. Decision freedom as a determinant of the role of incentive magnitude in attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1967, 3, 245–254.Google Scholar
  25. Mills, J. Interest in supporting and discrepant information. In R. P. Abelson, E. Aronson, W. J. McGuire, T. M. Newcomb, M. J. Rosenberg, & P. J. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Theories of cognitive consistency: A sourcebook. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1968.Google Scholar
  26. Scheier, M. F., Feningstein, A., & Buss, A. H. Self-awareness and physical aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1974, 10, 264–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schwartz, S. H. Moral decision making and behavior. In J. R. Macaulay & L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior. New York: Academic Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  28. Schwartz, S. H., & Howard, J. A. A normative decision-making model of altruism. In J. P. Rushton & R. M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980.Google Scholar
  29. Sherman, S. J. Effects of choice and incentive on attitude change in a discrepant behavior Situation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, 15, 245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Steiner, I. D. Perceived freedom. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, (Vol. 5 ). New York: Academic Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  31. Steiner, I. D. Three kinds of reported choice. In L. C. Perlmuter & R. A. Monty (Eds.), Choice and perceived control. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1979.Google Scholar
  32. Wicklund, R. A. Freedom and reactance. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1974.Google Scholar
  33. Wicklund, R. A. Three years later. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Cognitive Theories in Social Psychology. New York: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  34. Wicklund, R. A. Three years later. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Cognitive Theories in Social Psychology. New York: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  35. Wortman, C. B. Some determinants of perceived control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 282–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zimbardo, P. G. (Ed.). The cognitive control of motivation. Glenview, III.: Scott, Foresman, 1969.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations