conscious thought vs physics

“Research and theory in social psychology, for instance, indicates that the relationship between stimuli and action may involve an intervening process of conscious thought about the action, such that thought works multiplicatively with underlying sources of motivation to amplify the effects of motivating stimuli (Sorrentino, 1996).” [Flanagin, Hocevar, & Samahito, “Connecting with the user-generated Web: how group identification impacts online information sharing and evaluation” (2014) referencing¬†Sorrentino, “The role of conscious thought in a theory of motivation and cognition: The uncertainty orientation paradigm.”]

which reminded me of the Radiolab segment “No Special Now.” In this episode Brian Greene says that, thanks to Einsteinian physics,¬†“Free will is a very difficult question to answer for a physicist…. Free will is a very troubling issue.” More importantly, in this episode they talk about an experiment that seems to show your brain decides to wiggle your finger before you decide to, if that makes sense.

So, intervening process that amplifies motivation… or illusion? How far ahead of me does my brain decide on issues of greater import or longer consideration than finger wiggling? And other questions.

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