An experiment was conducted to investigate attitudes toward punishment in relation to beliefs in free will and determinism. College students responded to two questionnaires; one designed to assess attitudes toward punishment and one designed to assess strength of belief in free will or determinism. It was found that subjects who scored higher in belief in determinism recommended more punitive measures for behavioral deviations than those who scored higher in belief in free will. A possible explanation for these results emphasized the burdensome moral responsibility which punishment may represent to those who believe in free will. Such responsibility would demand that punishment be administered with scrupulous attention to fairness and justice.
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- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation