In the United States at this time, no uniform federal law exists regarding commercial surrogacy, and state statutory schemes vary vastly, ranging from criminalization to legal recognition with contract enforcement. The authors examine how commercial surrogacy agencies utilize the Internet as a means for attracting parents and surrogates by employing emotional cultural rhetoric. By inducing both parents and surrogates to their jurisdiction, agencies circumvent vast discrepancies in state statutory regulative schemes and create a distinct interstate business, absent an efficient regulatory (...) framework or legal recourse in some circumstances. The authors propose a uniform federal regulatory scheme premised upon regulating interstate business transactions to create accountability and legal remedies for both the parents and the surrogate. (shrink)
In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the relation of consciousness, the will, and our intentional and voluntary actions. Wegner claims that our experience and common sense view according to which we can influence our behavior roughly the way we experience that we do it is an illusion.
This book investigates the anti-Semitic foundations of Nazi curricula for elementary schools, with a focus on the subjects of biology, history, and literature. Gregory Paul Wegner argues that any study of Nazi society and its values must probe the education provided by the regime. Schools, according to Wegner, play a major role in advancing ideological justifications for mass murder, and in legitimizing a culture of ethnic and racial hatred. Using a variety of primary sources, Wegner provides a (...) vivid account of the development of Nazi education. (shrink)
Drawing from literary history, social theory, and political critique, this far-reaching study explores the utopian narrative as a medium for understanding the social space of the modern nation-state. Considering the narrative utopia from its earliest manifestation in Thomas More's sixteenth-century work _Utopia _to some of the most influential utopias of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this book is an astute study of a literary genre as well as a nuanced dialectical meditation on the history of utopian thinking as a (...) quintessential history of modernity. As he unravels the dialectics at work in the utopian narrative, Wegner gives an ambitious synthetic discussion of theories of modernity, considering and evaluating the ideas of writers such as Ernst Bloch, Louis Marin, Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Henri Lefebvre, Paul de Man, Karl Mannheim, Mikhail Bakhtin, Jürgen Habermas, Slavoj Zizek, and Homi Bhabha. (shrink)
Participants watched themselves in a mirror while another person behind them, hidden from view, extended hands forward on each side where participants’ hands would normally appear. The hands performed a series of movements. When participants could hear instructions previewing each movement, they reported an enhanced feeling of controlling the hands. Hearing instructions for the movements also enhanced skin conductance responses when a rubber band was snapped on the other’s wrist after the movements. Such vicarious agency was not felt when the (...) instructions followed the movements, and participants’ own covert movement mimicry was not essential to the influence of previews on reported control. (shrink)
Participants compared the mental capacities of various human and nonhuman characters via online surveys. Factor analysis revealed two dimensions of mind perception, Experience and Agency. The dimensions predicted different moral judgments but were both related to valuing of mind.
We investigate the processes underlying the feeling of control over one’s actions . Sense of agency may depend on internal motoric signals, and general inferences about external events. We used priming to modulate the sense of agency for voluntary and involuntary movements, by modifying the content of conscious thought prior to moving. Trials began with the presentation of one of two supraliminal primes, which corresponded to the effect of a voluntary action participants subsequently made. The perceived interval between movement and (...) effect was used as an implicit measure of sense of agency. Primes modulated perceived intervals for both voluntary and involuntary movements, but the modulation was greatest for involuntary movements. A second experiment showed that this modulation depended on prime–movement contiguity. We propose that sense of agency is based on a combination of internal motoric signals and external sensory evidence about the source of actions and effects. (shrink)
Three experiments examined whether the mere priming of potential action effects enhances people’s feeling of causing these effects when they occur. In a computer task, participants and the computer independently moved a rapidly moving square on a display. Participants had to press a key, thereby stopping the movement. However, the participant or the computer could have caused the square to stop on the observed position, and accordingly, the stopped position of the square could be conceived of as the potential effect (...) resulting from participants’ action of pressing the stop key. The location of this position was primed or not just before participants had to stop the movement. Results showed that priming of the position enhanced experienced authorship of stopping the square. Additional experimentation demonstrated that this priming of agency was not mediated by the goal or intention to produce the effect. (shrink)
We often consciously will our own actions. This experience is so profound that it tempts us to believe that our actions are caused by consciousness. It could also be a trick, however – the mind’s way of estimating its own apparent authorship by drawing causal inferences about relationships between thoughts and actions. Cognitive, social, and neuropsychological studies of apparent mental causation suggest that experiences of conscious will frequently depart from actual causal processes and so might not reﬂect direct perceptions of (...) conscious thought causing action. (shrink)
Perceiving others? minds is a crucial component of social life. People do not, however, always ascribe minds to other people, and sometimes ascribe minds to non-people. This article reviews when mind perception occurs, when it does not, and why mind perception is important. Causes of mind perception stem both from the perceiver and perceived, and include the need for social connection and a similarity to oneself. Mind perception also has profound consequences for both the perceiver and perceived. Ascribing mind confers (...) an entity moral rights and also makes its actions meaningful. Understanding the causes and consequences of mind perception can explain when this most social of cognitive skills will be used, and why it matters. (shrink)
It has been proposed that inferring personal authorship for an event gives rise to intentional binding, a perceptual illusion in which one’s action and inferred effect seem closer in time than they otherwise would . Using a novel, naturalistic paradigm, we conducted two experiments to test this hypothesis and examine the relationship between binding and self-reported authorship. In both experiments, an important authorship indicator – consistency between one’s action and a subsequent event – was manipulated, and its effects on binding (...) and self-reported authorship were measured. Results showed that action-event consistency enhanced both binding and self-reported authorship, supporting the hypothesis that binding arises from an inference of authorship. At the same time, evidence for a dissociation emerged, with consistency having a more robust effect on self-reports than on binding. Taken together, these results suggest that binding and self-reports reveal different aspects of the sense of authorship. (shrink)
The uncanny valley—the unnerving nature of humanlike robots—is an intriguing idea, but both its existence and its underlying cause are debated. We propose that humanlike robots are not only unnerving, but are so because their appearance prompts attributions of mind. In particular, we suggest that machines become unnerving when people ascribe to them experience, rather than agency. Experiment 1 examined whether a machine’s humanlike appearance prompts both ascriptions of experience and feelings of unease. Experiment 2 tested whether a machine capable (...) of experience remains unnerving, even without a humanlike appearance. Experiment 3 investigated whether the perceived lack of experience can also help explain the creepiness of unfeeling humans and philosophical zombies. These experiments demonstrate that feelings of uncanniness are tied to perceptions of experience, and also suggest that experience—but not agency—is seen as fundamental to humans, and fundamentally lacking in machines. (shrink)
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The experience of conscious will is the feeling that we are doing things. This feeling occurs for many things we do, conveying to us again and again the sense that we consciously cause our actions. But the feeling may not be a true reading of what is happening in our minds, brains, and bodies as our actions are produced. The feeling of conscious will can be fooled. This happens in clinical disorders such as alien hand syndrome, dissociative identity disorder, and (...) schizophrenic auditory hallucinations. And in people without disorders, phenomena such as hypnosis, automatic writing, Ouija board spelling, water dowsing, facilitated communication, speaking in tongues, spirit possession, and trance channeling also illustrate anomalies of will – cases when actions occur without will or will occurs without action. This book brings these cases together with research evidence from laboratories in psychology to explore a theory of apparent mental causation. According to this theory, when a thought appears in consciousness just prior to an action, is consistent with the action, and appears exclusive of salient alternative causes of the action, we experience conscious will and ascribe authorship to ourselves for the action. Experiences of conscious will thus arise from processes whereby the mind interprets itself – not from processes whereby mind creates action. Conscious will, in this view, is an indication that we think we have caused an action, not a revelation of the causal sequence by which the action was produced. Key Words: apparent mental causation; automatism; conscious will; determinism; free will; perceived control. (shrink)
The accessibility of suppressed thoughts was compared with the accessibility of thoughts on which Ss were consciously trying to concentrate. In Experiment I, Ss made associations to word prompts as they tried to suppress thinking about a target word (e.g., house) or tried to concentrate on that word. Under the cognitive load imposed by time pressure, they gave the target word in response to target-related prompts (e.g., home) more often during suppression than during concentration. In Experiment 2, reaction times for (...) naming colors of words were found to be greater under conditions of cognitive load when Ss were asked to suppress thinking of the word than under conditions of no cognitive load or when Ss were asked to concentrate on the word. The results support the idea that an automatic search for the suppression target increases the accessibility of the target during.. (shrink)
The conscious awareness of voluntary action is associated with systematic changes in time perception: The interval between actions and outcomes is experienced as compressed in time. Although this temporal binding is thought to result from voluntary movement and provides a window to the sense of agency, recent studies challenge this idea by demonstrating binding in involuntary movement. We offer a potential account for these findings by proposing that binding between involuntary actions and effects can occur when self-causation is implied. Participants (...) made temporal judgements concerning a key press and a tone, while they learned to consider themselves as the cause of the effect or not. Results showed that implied self-causation increased temporal binding. Since intrinsic motor cues of movement were absent, these results suggest that sensory evidence about the key press caused binding in retrospect and in line with the participant’s sense of being an agent. (shrink)
It has long been known that psychopathology can influence social perception, but a 2D framework of mind perception provides the opportunity for an integrative understanding of some disorders. We examined the covariation of mind perception with three subclinical syndromes—autism-spectrum disorder, schizotypy, and psychopathy—and found that each presents a unique mind-perception profile. Autism-spectrum disorder involves reduced perception of agency in adult humans. Schizotypy involves increased perception of both agency and experience in entities generally thought to lack minds. Psychopathy involves reduced perception (...) of experience in adult humans, children, and animals. Disorders are differentially linked with the over- or underperception of agency and experience in a way that helps explain their real-world consequences. (shrink)
Anger, disgust, elevation, sympathy, relief. If the subjective experience of each of these emotions is the same whether elicited by moral or nonmoral events, then what makes moral emotions unique? We suggest that the configuration of moral emotions is special—a configuration given by the underlying structure of morality. Research suggests that people divide the moral world along the two dimensions of valence (help/harm) and moral type (agent/patient). The intersection of these two dimensions gives four moral exemplars—heroes, villains, victims and beneficiaries—each (...) of which elicits unique emotions. For example, victims (harm/patient) elicit sympathy and sadness. Dividing moral emotions into these four quadrants provides predictions about which emotions reinforce, oppose and complement each other. (shrink)
These studies examined whether having thoughts related to an event before it occurs leads people to infer that they caused the event— even when such causation might otherwise seem magical. In Study 1, people perceived that they had harmed another person via a voodoo hex. These perceptions were more likely among those who had first been induced to harbor evil thoughts about their victim. In Study 2, spectators of a peer’s basketball-shooting performance were more likely to perceive that they had (...) influenced his success if they had first generated positive visualizations consistent with that success. Observers privy to those spectators’ visualizations made similar attributions about the spectators’ influence. Finally, addi- tional studies suggested that these results occur even when the thought-about outcome is viewed as unwanted by the thinker and even in field settings where the relevant outcome is occurring as part of a live athletic competition. (shrink)
When someone steps on your toe on purpose, it seems to hurt more than when the person does the same thing unintentionally. The physical parameters of the harm may not differ—your toe is ﬂattened in both cases—but the psychological experience of pain is changed nonetheless. Intentional harms are premeditated by another person and have the speciﬁc purpose of causing pain. In a sense, intended harms are events initiated by one mind to communicate meaning (malice) to another, and this could shape (...) the recipient’s experience. This study examined whether self-reported pain is indeed higher when the events producing the pain are understood as intentionally (as opposed to unintentionally) caused by another person. Although pain was traditionally conceived to be solely physical in nature (Aydede, 2005), its experience varies substantially with psychological context. The placebo analgesia effect, for example, is the reduction of pain without a change in physical stimulation when context, expectations, or sugar pills challenge the interpretation of a sensation as painful (e.g., Fields, 2008). The nocebo effect, in turn, is the experience of pain without any physical stimulation—as when participants report headaches when told that a (nonexistent) electric current is passing through their heads (Schweiger & Parducci, 1981). These variations in pain experience seem to depend on the meaning of the stimulus: A sugar pill is meant to decrease pain, whereas electric current is meant to increase pain. In an interpersonal context, the meaning of an action is derived from the would complete. perceiver’s perceptions of the actor’s intention (Clark, 1996). (shrink)
The experience of conscious will is the feeling that we are doing things. This feeling occurs for many things we do, conveying to us again and again the sense that we consciously cause our actions. But the feeling may not be a true reading of what is happening in our minds, brains, and bodies as our actions are produced. The feeling of conscious will can be fooled. This happens in clinical disorders such as alien hand syndrome, dissociative identity disorder, and (...) schizophrenic auditory hallucinations. And in people without disorders, phenomena such as hypnosis, automatic writing, Ouija board spelling, water dowsing, facilitated communication, speaking in tongues, spirit possession, and trance channeling also illustrate anomalies of will not from processes whereby mind creates action. Conscious will, in this view, is an indication that we think we have caused an action, not a revelation of the causal sequence by which the action was produced. (shrink)
This research examined individual differences in action identification level as measured by the Behavior Identification Form. Action identification theory holds that any action can be identified in many ways, ranging from low-level identities that specify how the action is performed to high-level identities that signify why or with what effect the action performed. People who identify action at a uniformly lower or higher level across many action domains, then, may be characterized in terms of their standing on a broad personality (...) dimension: level of personal agency. (shrink)
��People spent 5 min before sleep at home writing their stream of thought as they suppressed thoughts of a target person, thought of the person, or wrote freely after mentioning the person. These presleep references generally prompted people to report increased dreaming about the person. However, suppression instructions were particularly likely to have this in- ﬂuence, increasing dreaming about the person as measured both by participants’ self-ratings of their dreams and by raters’ coding of mentions of the person in written (...) dream reports. This effect was observed regardless of emotional attraction to the person. (shrink)
In slapstick comedy, the worst thing that could happen usually does: The person with a sore toe manages to stub it, sometimes twice. Such errors also arise in daily life, and research traces the tendency to do precisely the worst thing to ironic processes of mental control. These monitoring processes keep us watchful for errors of thought, speech, and action and enable us to avoid the worst thing in most situations, but they also increase the likelihood of such errors when (...) we attempt to exert control under mental load (stress, time pressure, or distraction). Ironic errors in attention and memory occur with identifiable brain activity and prompt recurrent unwanted thoughts; attraction to forbidden desires; expression of objectionable social prejudices; production of movement errors; and rebounds of negative experiences such as anxiety, pain, and depression. Such ironies can be overcome when effective control strategies are deployed and mental load is minimized. (shrink)
Belief in free will is widespread. The present research considered one reason why people may believe that actions are freely chosen rather than determined: they attribute randomness in behavior to free will. Experiment 1 found that participants who were prompted to perform a random sequence of actions experienced their behavior as more freely chosen than those who were prompted to perform a deterministic sequence. Likewise, Experiment 2 found that, all else equal, the behavior of animated agents was perceived to be (...) more freely chosen if it consisted of a random sequence of actions than if it consisted of a deterministic sequence; this was true even when the degree of randomness in agents’ behavior was largely a product of their environments. Together, these findings suggest that randomness in behavior—one’s own or another’s—can be mistaken for free will. (shrink)
Are we the robots? This question surfaces often in current psychological re- search, as various kinds of robot parts-automatic actions, mental mechanisms, even neural circuits-keep appearing in our explanations of human behavior. Automatic processes seem responsible for a wide range of the things we do, a fact that may leave us feeling, if not fully robotic, at least a bit nonhuman. The complement of the automatic process in contemporary psychology, of course, is the controlled process (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968; Bargh, (...) 1984; Posner & Snyder, 1975; Shiffrin & Schnieder, 1977), and it is in theories of controlled processes that vestiges of our humanity reappear. Controlled processes are viewed as conscious, effortful, and intentional. and as drawing on more sources of information than automatic processes. With this power of conscious will, controlled processes seem to bring the civilized quality back to psychological explanation that automatic processes leave out. Yet by reintroducing this touch of humanity, the notion of a controlled process also brings us within glimpsing range of a fatal theoretical error-the idea that there is a controller. (shrink)
The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision published its policy statement and technical report on newborn circumcision in September 2012.1 ,2 Since that time, some individuals and groups have voiced objections to the work of the Task Force, while others have conveyed their support. The AAP task force is pleased that the policy statement and technical reports on circumcision have stimulated debate on this topic and welcomes respectful discussion and dialogue about the scientific and ethical issues that surround (...) neonatal circumcision. We believe this is a complex issue that does not lend itself to simplistic solutions. The Task Force encourages those of all viewpoints to contribute to a vibrant, thoughtful and respectful evidence-based dialogue. We appreciate that the free exchange of competing ideas is a necessary component of scientific discovery. We also recognise that all clinical decisions carry ethical dimensions and that a respectful and thoughtful dialogue about these issues is important. However, the Task Force also feels strongly that this debate and the academic literature are demeaned when those with an ideological agenda disseminate inaccurate information, misapply scientific principles, make accusations that are unsupported, communicate in a vitriolic tone, and attempt to discredit and mischaracterise alternative views and those who hold them. Healthy debate and …. (shrink)
Although torture can establish guilt through confession, how are judgments of guilt made when tortured suspects do not confess? We suggest that perceived guilt is based inappropriately upon how much pain suspects appear to suffer during torture. Two psychological theories provide competing predictions about the link between pain and perceived blame: cognitive dissonance, which links pain to blame, and moral typecasting, which links pain to innocence. We hypothesized that dissonance might characterize the relationship between torture and blame for those close (...) to the torture, while moral typecasting might characterize this relationship for those more distant from it. Accordingly, this experiment placed participants into one of two different roles in which people may be exposed to torture. Participants in the proximal role of prison staffer saw suffering torture victims as relatively more guilty, while participants in the relatively distant role of a radio listener saw suffering victims as more innocent. (shrink)
Scientific psychology and neuroscience are taking increasingly precise and comprehensive pictures of the human mind, both in its physi- cal architecture and its functional processes. Meanwhile, each human mind has an abbreviated view of itself, a self-portrait that captures how it thinks it operates, and that therefore has been remarkably influential. The mind’s self-portrait has as a central feature the idea that thoughts cause actions, and that the self is thus an origin of the body’s actions. This self- portrait is (...) reached through a process of inference of apparent mental cau- sation, and it gives rise to the experience that we are consciously willing what we do. Evidence from several sources suggests that this self-portrait may often be a humble and misleading caricature of the mind’s opera- tion—but one that underlies the feeling of authorship and the acceptance of responsibility for action. (shrink)
The classical view of computing positions computation as a closed-box transformation of inputs (rational numbers or finite strings) to outputs. According to the interactive view of computing, computation is an ongoing interactive process rather than a function-based transformation of an input to an output. Specifically, communication with the outside world happens during the computation, not before or after it. This approach radically changes our understanding of what is computation and how it is modeled. The acceptance of interaction as a new (...) paradigm is hindered by the Strong Church–Turing Thesis (SCT), the widespread belief that Turing Machines (TMs) capture all computation, so models of computation more expressive than TMs are impossible. In this paper, we show that SCT reinterprets the original Church–Turing Thesis (CTT) in a way that Turing never intended; its commonly assumed equivalence to the original is a myth. We identify and analyze the historical reasons for the widespread belief in SCT. Only by accepting that it is false can we begin to adopt interaction as an alternative paradigm of computation. We present Persistent Turing Machines (PTMs), that extend TMs to capture sequential interaction. PTMs allow us to formulate the Sequential Interaction Thesis, going beyond the expressiveness of TMs and of the CTT. The paradigm shift to interaction provides an alternative understanding of the nature of computing that better reflects the services provided by today’s computing technology. (shrink)
Participants were asked to carry out a series of simple tasks while following mental control instructions. In advance of each task, they either suppressed thoughts of their intention to perform the task, concentrated on such thoughts, or monitored their thoughts without trying to change them. Suppression resulted in reduced reports of intentionality as compared to monitoring, and as compared to concentration. There was a weak trend for suppression to enhance reported intentionality for a repetition of the action carried out after (...) suppression instructions had been discontinued. (shrink)
Unpriming is a decrease in the influence of primed knowledge following a behavior expressing that knowledge. The authors investigated strategies for unpriming the knowledge of an answer that is activated when people are asked to consider a simple question. Experiment 1 found that prior correct answering eliminated the bias people normally show toward correct responding when asked to answer yes–no questions randomly. Experiment 2 revealed that prior answering intended to be random did not unprime knowledge on subsequent attempts to answer (...) randomly. Experiment 3 found that exposure to the correct answer did not influence the knowledge bias but that exposure to the incorrect answer increased bias. Experiment 4 revealed that merely expressing the answer for oneself was sufficient to unprime knowledge. Experiment 5 found that each item of activated knowledge needs to be unprimed specifically, in that correctly answering 1 question does not reduce the knowledge bias in randomly answering another. (shrink)
Social relations are vitally dependent on shared understanding of one another's actions. To initiate any sort of relationship, and to maintain a relationship once initiated, the partners to the relationship must com-.