in Language Learning
Zoltán Dörnyei, Peter D. MacIntyre
and Alastair Henry
Bristol • Buffalo • Toronto
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning/Edited by Zoltán Dörnyei, Peter D.
MacIntyre and Alastair Henry.
Second Language Acquisition: 81
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Second language acquisition. 2. Motivation in education. 3. Identity (Psychology) 4.
Self. I. Dörnyei, Zoltán, editor. II. MacIntyre, Peter D., 1965- editor. III. Henry, Alastair.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue entry for this book is available from the British Librar y.
ISBN-13: 978-1-78309-256-7 (hbk)
ISBN-13: 978-1-78309-255-0 (pbk)
UK: St Nicholas House, 31–34 High Street, Bristol BS1 2AW, UK.
USA: UTP, 2250 Military Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150, USA.
Canada: UTP, 5201 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario M3H 5T8, Canada.
Twitte r: Mult i_ Li ng _M at
Copyright © 2015 Zoltán Dörnyei, Peter D. MacIntyre, Alastair Henry and the authors
of individual chapters.
Al l rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means
without permission in writing from the publisher.
The policy of Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications is to use papers that are
natural, renewable and recyclable products, made from wood grown in sustainable for-
ests. In the manufacturing process of our books, and to further support our policy, prefer-
ence is given to printers that have FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. The FSC
and/or PEFC logos will appear on those books where full certification has been granted
to the printer concerned.
Typeset by Techset Composition India(P) Ltd., Bangalore and Chennai, India.
Printed and bound in Great Britain by Short Run Press Ltd.
Human Agency: Does the
Beach Ball Have Free Will?
Ali H. Al-Hoorie
The fundamental difference between the hard sciences and the social sci-
ences may not lie in the complexity of the latter, since it is possible to con-
ceive of immensely complex situations in the hard sciences as well. Instead,
the uniqueness of the social sciences might lie in people’s ability to choose
how to behave. Particles and molecules do not make choices, as their behav-
iour is predetermined and predictable by physical and chemical laws. That
such precise predictability is absent in human behaviour is a strong argument
for our ability to exercise free will through rational thought. In fact, it is the
human ability to think and make rational choices that underlies ethical and
moral judgments, for example deeming humans worthy of praise and reward
for good behaviour, and answerable for wrongdoing.
As intuitive as it might be, the above reasoning has not gone unchal-
lenged over the years. On the one hand, advances in quantum mechanics
show that precise prediction is not possible even in principle. The position and
the momentum of a particle, for example, cannot be precisely determined
simultaneously; the more precisely one is known, the less precisely the other
can be determined. On the other hand, several studies have questioned the
extent to which humans are in control of their actions and thoughts. As a
preliminary illustration, one of the most striking findings in this respect has
come from neuroscience, where one study found that the outcome of a deci-
sion could be detected in brain activity up to ten seconds before it entered
awareness, suggesting that it might be possible to predict people’s behaviour
prior to their conscious decision to behave (Soon et al., 2008). Findings in a
number of different theoretical and research paradigms have pointed to
similar conclusions, leading some scholars to view our free will as a mere
illusion (e.g. Wegner, 2002) and our behaviour as largely determined by
unconscious, automatic processes, not by our conscious deliberation (e.g.
Bargh & Williams, 2006). Other researchers have attempted to combine
quantum indeter minacy with social sciences to account for human free will
(Glimcher, 2005; Kane, 1996). The applicability of insights from quantum
mechanics to our behaviour is, however, disputed (Juarrero, 1999; Lau, 2009;
Regarding the main theme of the current edited volume, a recent app-
roach to understanding human behaviour has turned to complexity theory to
find explanations for human behaviour (cf. Larsen-Freeman & Cameron,
2008). Complexity theory raises interesting questions regarding agency and
whether the individual is capable of exercising free will by choosing how to
behave. This is because one of the most common metaphors in complexity
nomenclature is ‘the beach ball’, which suggests that the behaviour of the
individual tends to be a function of the terrain and its attractors, thus con-
trolled by external factors; the beach ball does not have free will. Because
multiple, combined and integrated forces constantly affect behaviour, making
it almost never in equilibrium, it is easy to overlook the ‘agent’ and whether
one can be in charge of his/her own behaviour. This reinforces the beach-ball
view of the individual. Although most complexity theorists may not con-
sciously embrace such a deterministic view, clearly this question has not
received due attention. However, when we intend to apply complexity theory
to human motivation, it becomes a crucial issue to examine whether the
beach ball can have a will of its own. Can the beach ball, for example, make
a decision to go against the flow?
Looking at the literature in general, scholars tend to agree on gen-
eral principles on the relationship between the individual and the environ-
ment; beyond that the issue is ‘oddly divisive’ (Dörnyei, 2009: 236). Within
complexity theroy in particular, Larsen-Freeman and Cameron (2008: 76)
conclude that ‘it remains to some extent an open question as to how far com-
plexity theory can accommodate deliberate decision-making’. Indeed, com-
plexity theory has made substantial strides in analysing the terrain of
the system and its attractors, with much more work to be done to consider
the extent to which behaviour is governed by the various system parame-
ters and attractors. After all, the ultimate goal is not merely to describe the
terrain features but to understand their effect on behaviour. In Albert
Bandura’s (1997: 7) words, ‘Agency causation involves the ability to behave
differently from what environmental forces dictate rather than inevitably
yield to them’.
The question of human agency and free will has been the subject of
bitter debates and sharp disputes, stimulating the thought of intellectuals
belonging to diverse disciplines including Albert Einstein, Samuel Johnson,
Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Paul Sartre and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
This chapter builds on Larsen-Freeman and Cameron’s (2008) discussion of
this subject by presenting an overv iew of a number of theoretical paradigms
that have challenged the independence of human agency, followed by a
summary of the main arguments used by agency proponents to respond to
56 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Agency Under Attack
The first attempt to strip from humans the agency of their rational
thought is represented in the psychodynamic paradigm. Sigmund Freud was
the first scientist to offer a systematic analysis of unconscious motives and
to conclude that the conflict between conscious and unconscious is not
exclusive to those suffering from mental illness, but a general structure of
the human mind, and that only a minority of our actions are based on
rational thought (cf. Rennison, 2001). Many critics disapproved of Freud’s
theory because it was considered an ‘insult’ to deeply held beliefs about the
self and reason, a standpoint that Freud himself acknowledged, but inter-
preted as ‘resistance’ and another defence mechanism not to accept this
embarrassing truth (Robinson, 1993). According to the psychodynamic
view, our conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg, and our behaviour
is primarily motivated by early childhood experiences that lead to an
unconscious battle between the id, ego and super-ego, a battle fuelled by
the pleasure, the reality and later the death principles (Heller, 2005;
Thurschwell, 2000). It is worth noting, though, that at the heart of the
psychodynamic paradigm is the fundamental assumption that we can exer-
cise control over our behaviour, albeit indirectly, through the tools of psy-
choanalysis, such as studying dreams, free associations and Freudian slips
Psychoanalysis was replaced by the positivist empiricism of the behaviour-
istic paradigm. Following David Hume’s (1921/1748) emphasis on the external
nature of constant conjunction, Watson’s methodological behaviourism
rejected inner life because it is not directly observable and requires the unreli-
able method of introspection (Watson, 1913). B.F. Skinner’s radical behav-
iourism went one step further by contending that the mind was no more
than an imaginary invention, like all cognitive constructs, such as thinking,
intention and knowledge (Skinner, 1961). Our phenomenological feelings
were interpreted as ‘collateral effects of the causes’ (Skinner, 1989: 18), mere
by-products of three kinds of selection by consequences: natural selection
(genes), operant conditioning (reinforcement) and the social environment
(Skinner, 1981). In his reply to Chomsky’s (1959) review of Verbal B ehavio r
(Skinner, 1957), Skinner (1972) claimed that creativity, whether in generative
grammar or in poetry, is no more remarkable or less inevitable than a hen
laying an egg!1 The belief that humans control their behaviour was com-
pared with the belief that the wind controls its movement or that the farmer
controls which type of fruit the plant will produce (Skinner, 1978). Skinner
opposed the agentic mind so forcefully that in a speech just one day before
his death he equated the effect of cognitive science on psychology with that
of creationism on science (Skinner, 1990). Skinner accepted all corollaries of
Human Agency 57
his position, rejecting free will, punishment for transgressions and even
human dignity (Skinner, 1973).
Today, the assumptions of Freud and Skinner that challenge our agency
still persist in various guises. One is the behaviour genetic paradigm, first sys-
tematically utilized in 1875 by Sir Francis Galton (Burbridge, 2001). The
most powerful design to extract genetic influences is ‘twins-reared-apart’
comparisons, limitations of which are compensated for by ‘adoptees-reared-
together’ comparisons to examine environmental effects in the absence of
genetic similarity and by non-human selective breeding to allow for random-
ization (Plomin, 1990; Plomin et al., 2001). In 1979, the Minnesota Study of
Identical Twins Reared Apart was initiated (see Segal, 2012) and found that
‘genetic variation is an important feature of virtually every human psycho-
logical trait’ (Bouchard, 2008: 69). To cite just a few figures, according to
Bouchard (2004), heredity accounts for a substantial proportion of the
variation in key human attributes, such as mental ability (around 80%),
personality (40%–50%), psychological interests (36%) and social attitudes
(65% for males and 45% for females), while environmental influences play
a far smaller role, sometimes even decreasing with age. Although genetic
influences do not usually account for more than 50% of the variance (Plomin,
1990), this magnitude is still remarkable considering that it constitutes a
single source (Bouchard & McGue, 2003), thus leaving all other influences to
share the remaining variance. These results support Skinner’s argument that
a substantial proportion of our behaviour is shaped by natural selection.
Further support to Skinner’s theory comes from the social paradigm, spe-
cifically from the structure vs. agency debate in sociology. In one extreme,
Emile Durkheim (Durkheim & Lukes, 1982/1895) challenged Karl Marx’s
philosophy and advocated the structuralist position that views human
behaviour as passively and unidirectionally determined by social structure.
The other extreme, the voluntarist position, shifts the focus to the individ-
ual, construing social structure as a result of human’s purposeful autonomy,
a position held by Max Weber (Weber et al., 1978/1922) and recently by Baert
and da Silva (2010). A compromise between these two extremes was later
reached in Anthony Giddens’s (1984) structuration theory and Pierre
Bourdieu’s (1977/1972) theory of practice. This position sees structure and
agency as having a dialectical relationship in an iterative process where the
system is ‘recursively organized’ (Giddens, 1984: 25). In this duality of struc-
ture, agents act reflexively to three sources of constraint (and enablement)
represented in ability limitations, sanctions by powerful others and struc-
tural contexts that limit the agent’s options. To draw an analogy, football
players are constrained by rules, but these rules also give players the freedom
to compete in a fair game that does not descend into complete anarchy.
58 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Some sociocultural theorists in the second language (L2) field have
expressed similar views (e.g. Duff, 2012; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; van Lier,
2013), while others adopted a realist position (Gao, 2010; Sealey & Carter,
2004) arguing that agency and structure are independent and that their inter-
action produces emergent properties. Social psychologists working within
Henri Tajfel and his student John Turner’s social identity theory (Tajfel &
Turner, 1986) have similarly demonstrated that group affiliation has a sig-
nificant impact on a wide range of issues, including stereotyping and preju-
dice (Brown, 2010), crowd behaviour (Reicher, 2001), attitude and attitude
change (Crano & Prislin, 20 08), judgment and conformity (Jetten & Hornsey,
2012) and group motivation (Hogg & Abrams, 1993; Hogg et al., 2004). In
addition to structure and agency, psychologist Albert Bandura (1986) adds a
third component in his triadic reciprocal causation model, namely behaviour.
In addition to influencing the environment, behaviour, once it has occurred
can, in turn, have an influence back on the individual. Even the story influ-
ences the storyteller (McAdams & Pals, 2006).
In other words, ‘there is no chance that . . . [our decisions] can be discon-
nected from the social-political-historical-moral-cultural influences of our
time’ (Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008: 76). That one has to constantly
navigate through all these influences indicates that human agency cannot be
understood by looking into the individual, but, paradoxically, by looking into
the social context (Dreier, 2008), as individuals cannot be completely autono-
mous (Ahearn, 2001). In fact, ‘conditioning’ is still accepted as an explana-
tion of environmental effects by some sociologists (see Archer, 2000) and
social psychologists (Bohner & Dickel, 2011), while frequency of stimulus is
seen as a key determinant of L2 acquisition at all levels of analysis, including
phonology, morphology, syntax, discourse and orthography (Ellis, 2002).
This magnitude of environmental effects lends support to Skinner’s argu-
ment that a large extent of our behaviour is shaped by the environment.
In the 1950s, the cognitive revolution supplanted behaviourism (Miller,
2003). The cognitive paradigm was largely inspired by Edward Chace Tolman’s
(1951/1932) purposive behaviourism and was a major step in reinstating the
role of mental life in human behaviour. Cognitive psychology has subse-
quently split into two routes: the microanalysis of brain functions and the
macroanalysis of the socially situated individual’s goals, expectations and
aspirations (Bandura, 2001). Proponents of both of these research avenues
agree that, contrary to behaviourism, external stimuli do not influence the
individual directly, but through how they are consciously perceived, thus
restoring the individual’s role in the causal chain. However, new strands
within cognitive psychology have started to challenge this view. Originally,
Thomas Henry Huxley (2011/1894) proposed the ‘steam whistle hypothe-
sis’, wherein behaviour is caused by molecular changes in the brain while
consciousness2 is a by-product without a causal effect. Replacing ‘condition-
ing’ with ‘automaticity’, but accepting internal processes, advocates of this
Human Agency 59
view explicitly state that they have ‘reopened the behaviorists’ hypothesis that
the higher order responses of the human being can be directly put in motion by
environmental stimuli’ (Bargh & Ferguson, 2000: 928; emphasis added).
Empirical studies, utilizing conscious and unconscious priming techniques
(for methodological reviews, see Bargh & Chartrand, 2000; Neely, 1991),
have confirmed that situational contexts have significant unintended effects:
• cognitively – information-processing goals can be primed (e.g. memorise
vs. evaluate; Chartrand & Bargh, 1996);
• affectively – primes influence enjoyment and self-determination (i.e.
intrinsic vs. extrinsic; Séguin Lévesque, 1999), attitudes towards goals
(Ferguson & Bargh, 2004), goal-facilitating objects (Ferguson, 2008) and
goal-facilitating people (Fitzsimons & Shah, 2009), as well as affect fol-
lowing success and failure (Moore et al., 2011) and emotion regulation
during anger provocation (Mauss et al., 2007);
• behaviourally – priming increases the probability of goal pursuit and
effort exertion (Aarts et al., 2008; Holland et al., 2009) and of resumption
after interruption and persistence after setbacks (Bargh et al., 2001);
• socially – automaticity extends to behavioural contagion (Chartrand &
Bargh, 1999) and even moral judgment (Agerström & Björklund, 2009).
These unconscious effects can be activated by things as simple as chair soft-
ness (Ackerman et al., 2010) or coffee temperature (Williams & Bargh, 2008).
They also occur through the same brain regions (Pessiglione et al., 2007) and
working memory capacity (Hassin, 2008) as conscious effects.
In sum, automaticity is seen as ‘a staple and indispensable construct for
the explanation and prediction of almost all psychological phenomena’
(Bargh et al., 2012: 593), accounting for 99.44% of behaviour (Bargh, 1997:
243), while consciousness has ‘no role’ (Dijksterhuis et al., 2007: 52) and ‘has
been vastly overrated; instead, it is often a post-hoc explanation of responses
that emanated from the adaptive unconscious’ (Wilson, 2002: 107). What
about our phenomenological feeling of agency? These scholars consider self-
knowledge a poor, unreliable measure, citing studies on confabulation, choice
blindness and misattribution of agency (e.g. Bar-Anan et al., 2010; Hall et al.,
2010; Johansson et al., 2005; Wegner, 2002). The magnitude of empirical
evidence supporting the effect of unconscious processes on behaviour left
some wondering whether Freud is really dead (Westen, 1999) and whether the
cognitive revolution would just be a detour to behaviourism (Mischel, 1997).
Our exercise of agency has further been challenged by other paradigms
as well. For example, random events are said to ‘rule our lives’ (Mlodinow,
2008), where accidental occurrences can become life-changing occasions.
Our free will is also constrained by hormones and other biological factors,
such as the effect of testosterone level on generosity (Zak et al., 2009) and
social dominance (Terburg et al., 2012), or the impact of diet on depression
60 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
(Akbaraly et al., 2009; Sánchez-Villegas et al., 2009) and on cognitive ability
in childhood (von Stumm, 2012) and adulthood (Kesse-Guyot et al., 2012).
The effects in all of these cases operate below the threshold of consciousness,
and therefore we are unable to control them directly. However, as discussed
below, some scholars argue that we can still exert indirect, second-order con-
trol (Bandura, 2008) by learning about these effects and behaving adaptively.
Researching these issues is therefore an instance of exercising agency.
Neuroscientiﬁ c conﬁ rmation
A recent, powerful confirmation to the arguments against direct agency
comes from the neuroscientific paradigm. Initially, German researchers Hans H.
Kornhuber and Lüder Deecke (1965) discovered that voluntary action is
preceded by bio-electrical activation in the brain, which they termed
Bereitschaftspotential, or readiness potential (RP). This finding did not seem par-
ticularly remarkable until 20 years later when Benjamin Libet and colleagues
(1983) found ‘somewhat puzzlingly’ (Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008: 76)
that RP precedes even the conscious intention to act. They concluded that
‘voluntary’ action is actually initiated unconsciously. Threatening as it is to
free will, this conclusion attracted severe criticism on methodological (Klemm,
2010) and philosophical (Dennett, 2004; Mele, 2009) grounds. Experiments
also questioned whether RP represents a decision to act (Trevena & Miller,
2010) and whether introspection is a reliable measure of decision time (Banks
& Isham, 2009). Nonetheless, more refined replications confirmed the original
findings (Haggard & Eimer, 1999; Matsuhashi & Hallett, 2008). Other studies
predicted which hand the participant would move 10 seconds before this deci-
sion enters awareness (Soon et al., 2008) and used direct recordings from single
neurons with more than 80% predictive accuracy (Fried et al., 2011), the latter
being the most accurate approach in contemporary neuroscience (Haggard,
2011). In all of these cases, the participants’ decisions were predicted before the
participants themselves were aware they would make those decisions, leading
some to conclude that we confuse correlation with causation in the relation-
ship between our sense of agency and our actions (Wegner, 2002), and that full
awareness of agency may even be ‘postdicted’ by the individual after action
has been unconsciously initiated (Guggisberg et al., 2008). Neuroscientist John-
Dylan Haynes wonders, ‘How can I call a will “mine” if I don’t even know
when it occurred and what it has decided to do?’ (cited by Smith, 2011:
24). Further, transcranial magnetic stimulation can induce participants,
unbek nownst to them, to choose which hand to move (Ammon & Gandevia,
1990) and, recently, this non-invasive brain stimulation was found to improve
numerical competence (Cohen Kadosh et al., 2010) and other arithmetic skills
(Snowball et al., 2013) with effects observed as long as six months later!
On the negative side, disruption to brain functions can have unwanted
behavioural consequences. In addition to the famous Phineas Gage, whose
Human Agency 61
personality reportedly changed after a freak accident that destroyed part
of his brain (see Fleischman, 2002; Macmillan, 2000), brain tumours have
been blamed for criminal behaviour, such as indecent conduct (Goldberg,
2001) and paedophilia (Burns & Swerdlow, 2003; see also Mobbs et al.,
2009), as well as more extreme disorders, such as the alien hand syndrome
(e.g. Assal et al., 2007). These findings raise the question of whether our
behaviour is controlled unconsciously by our neurons. Yet, it is argued, we
can exercise agency through consciously ‘vetoing’ the execution of impulses
initiated unconsciously (Libet, 2003, 2004; though see Lau, 2009) by imple-
menting a ‘neural brake’ mechanism (Filevich et al., 2012). Furthermore,
this process, dubbed ‘free won’t’, is not the only function of consciousness,
because consciousness is an emergent property that also exerts top-down
influence, complementing the unconscious bottom-up influence (Bandura,
2008; Gazzaniga, 2012). Finally, this counterargument assumes that the
unconscious initiation of action discovered by Libet is generalizable from
the simple finger movement examined in those laboratory studies to all
human behaviour, and cannot be explained away by skill automation
Agency Fights Back
The previous sections have presented in some detail a range of powerful
arguments and positions that go against the grain of traditional motivation
research by claiming that the antecedent of human behaviour is not ‘motiva-
tion’ conceived as an attribute of which people are always aware. We have
seen some potential counterarguments, and in the following such arguments
will be further explored in an attempt to suggest some possible interim posi-
tions. Generally, those who adopt pro-agency views argue that the agent,
given the same present situation and the same past events, ‘could have done
otherwise’. They are usually open to accept that certain factors may play a
role in our behavioural choices, but maintain that these factors merely influ-
ence them, as opposed to entirely produce them (Nichols, 2008). ‘Your genes,
your upbringing, and your circumstances may predispose certain behaviour
tendencies. But ultimately it is you who decides and who bears responsibil-
ity’ (Myers, 2008: 32–33).
In an attempt to address the issue of agency head on, Baumeister et al.
(2011) embarked on the task of answering what at first seems an obvious
question: do conscious thoughts cause behaviour? In order to establish cau-
sality, these scholars reviewed various carefully selected lines of research
that involve random assignment to experimental manipulations, such as
imagining, mental practice, implementation intentions and anticipation. In
support of the agency view, their results showed that conscious causation
of behaviour is ‘profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically
62 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
strong’ (Baumeister et al., 2011: 351). Agency proponents will certainly be
delighted by this conclusion, but the disparity between this pro-agency con-
clusion and the wide range of anti-agency findings outlined above raises
First of all, these two viewpoints need to be reconciled. In their article,
Baumeister et al. (2011) realised that the role of conscious thought is not as
direct as might be intuitively assumed, but offline and indirect: ‘Nothing
indicated motivations originating in consciousness – instead, conscious
thoughts interacted with existing motivations’ (Baumeister et al., 2011: 351,
emphasis added). Put differently, in many situations, our agency seems to be
represented not in our direct control of behaviour, but in our ability to resist
an unconscious impulse or to select from multiple competing impulses.
These resistant and selective roles of conscious behaviour still affirm our
agency, and by extension our moral responsibility, albeit in an indirect fash-
ion (cf. Juarrero, 1999; Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008). This indirect view
of agency supports a duality within human nature; while on the one hand
the terrain with its multiple influences disposes behaviour towards one direc-
tion, on the other hand agentic behaviour requires conscious evaluation of
these tendencies and vetoing what is deemed maladaptive.
The second question raised by the disparity of the agency-related
findings is how consciousness can exercise its agentic role. That is, even if we
accept the mediating influence of consciousness, we still need to explain
the mechanism by which this agentic capacity is achieved. As Bargh and
Ferguson (2000) argue, construing consciousness as an ‘uncaused cause’
reverts to a Cartesian dualism, which maintains that the mind is a non-
physical entity (e.g. a soul) that is excluded from the causal order governing
the body; in order to study consciousness scientifically, we must presuppose
that it follows the physical laws of our universe. Complexity theory offers
one solution that explains conscious free will without violating physical
laws. Philosopher Alicia Juarrero (1999) maintains that modern philosophy
is based on Aristotle’s (mistaken) contention that cause must be external to
its effect. Instead, Juarrero asserts that an alternative to external cause is
‘self-cause’. That is, complex systems allow emergent properties, and these
properties can have qualitatively different functions. Consciousness is seen
as an emergent property that exerts top-down control on behaviour.
The third question concerns who can have this agentic ability. Is every-
body capable of it? There seem to be at least two essential prerequisites. The
first prerequisite is that one needs to believe in free will (Csikszentmihalyi,
2006). For example, research suggests that belief in determinism can lead to
unethical behaviour through yielding to enticement (Vohs & Schooler, 2008).
Contrary to philosophers who are interested in the abstract concept of free
will and its existence, Dweck and Molden (2008) also argue that what people
believe constitutes a psychological question whose answers construct dif-
ferential psychological realties. This is because the laws of our universe
Human Agency 63
referred to above also include human nature and how people view themselves,
and this is at least partly self-constructed. To support their view, Dweck and
Molden (2008) review diverse lines of research showing that self- theories – as
fixed or malleable – have a direct and unequivocal effect on behaviour, atti-
tudes and motivation. They conclude that ‘personality is, in many ways, a
highly dynamic system in which (changeable) beliefs can create a network of
motivation and action’ (Dweck & Molden, 2008: 58) and that ‘people’s self-
theories have a cascade of effects on their personal motivation, as well as on
the ways they judge and treat others’ (Dweck & Molden, 2008: 47).
The second prerequisite is that agentic capacity requires becoming cog-
nisant of the factors that influence one’s behaviour. Awareness of the effects
of unconscious primes may override and disrupt unconscious impulses
(Bargh & Chartrand, 2000; Wegner & Bargh, 1998). Group affiliation, for
example, may lead to prejudice automatically, but the realisation of this sus-
ceptibility would help one monitor one’s behaviour and hopefully avoid the
prejudice trap. People may shape their own destiny by learning about the
factors that influence them. Agentic exercise of conscious thought can thus
have a causal impact on behaviour (for a review, see Baumeister et al., 2011)
and, therefore, it is a false dichotomy to ask whether conscious or uncon-
scious thought causes behaviour; it is the interplay between the two
(Baumeister & Masicampo, 2010; Nordgren et al., 2011). For this reason, psy-
chological experiments typically involve an element of deception for fear of
nullifying the independent variables under examination; allowing the par-
ticipants to be conscious of the actual hypothesis prior to the study is con-
sidered ‘a scientific prohibition’ (Bandura, 2007: 655). Even covert, nonverbal
communication from the experimenter can bias the participants’ perfor-
mance (Rosenthal, 2003).
In other words, the emergent nature of consciousness seems to allow one
to exercise agency by recycling and reprocessing one’s knowledge of the
system in order to reshape the boundaries of the system and change its tra-
jectory. This illustrates the nonlinearity of the system; the same situational
input (the terrain) can have divergent outputs depending on one’s expertise
and attentiveness to input particulars. This conceptualisation is compatible
with the First Law of Thermodynamics (cf. Juarrero, 1999), which states that
energy is always conserved, cannot be created or destroyed, and can only be
converted from one form into another. That is, consciousness does not have
to be an uncaused cause, but a reorganisation of existing knowledge. Fate, we
may argue, is not dictated by the terrain, but by whether one resists, or yields
to, it. In fact, it is probably this capacity to resist attractive attractors that
makes humans unique. If our behaviour were solely a product of the terrain,
looking back and feeling proud about one’s achievements would become
An example of this agentic achievement should make the point clearer.
A vivid illustration comes from research on psychological resilience.
64 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Resilience is defined as ‘the maintenance of positive adaptation by individu-
als despite experiences of significant adversity’ (Luthar et al., 2000: 543).
That is, some individuals are able to sustain normal functioning in situations
of extreme stress, significant threat, severe adversity and trauma (Cicchetti,
2010), and can actually thrive after these aversive events (Bonanno, 2004).
Such cases might be more interesting than cases where an individual follows
the expected trajectory by succumbing to a negative attractor basin and
consequently developing, say, mental disorders or other psychopathologies.
Initially, theorists assumed that such cases are exceptional, but recent
empirical studies have shown that resilience is actually the most common
response to potential trauma (Bonanno, 2005). Although it might be tempt-
ing to thin k of resi lience as an individual difference trait, resilience researchers
have forcefully challenged such a view. These researchers argue that resil-
ience is not ‘in’ the person (Masten, 2012: 208) or something that an indi-
vidual ‘has’ (Cicchetti, 2010: 146). Instead, they stress that resilience emerges
from the dynamic interaction of multiple factors, internal and external to the
individual, that have differential effects depending on time and context.
Furthermore, like in so many other areas, researchers have been able to
discover specific genes that appear associated with resilience. Kendler (2006 )
argues, however, that the expression ‘X is a gene for Y’ is misleading, because
it implies a causal relationship that is strong, clear and direct, while in fact
genes play a contributory role working in concert with a host of other fac-
tors. Indeed, recent findings dispute the direct causal role of genes suggest-
there is much more scope for a single gene to have multiple diverse
actions. But, even more basically, this dynamic process forces one to
reconceptualize just what is meant by a gene. These new findings in no
way undermine the evidence of the crucial pervasive importance of genes
but they do undermine any notion that genes are determinative in a
simplistic fashion . . . (Rutter, 2006: 151)
Going back to the original question of whether the beach ball has free
will, the above overview is consistent with Larsen-Freeman and Cameron’s
(2008: 76) assertion that ‘we can marshal some substantial support for a
positive answer to this question’ and with Juarrero’s conclusion that ‘We are
not passive products of either the environment or external forces. In a very
real sense we contribute to the circumstances that will constrain us later on’
(Juarrero, 1999: 253, emphasis added). This position is moderately optimistic
as it rejects both the extreme view that we have absolute control over our
behaviour, and the other extreme that our behaviour is entirely ruled by
Human Agency 65
unconscious processes and external factors. Although past research has con-
firmed several behaviourist claims, investigations also point to our ability to
exercise agency indirectly through top-down control (e.g. Baumeister et al.,
2011; Windmann, 2005). This conclusion, however, also compels us to make
an important distinction between the beach ball and the individual in rela-
tion to attractors. While the ball gravitates towards various attractors, indi-
viduals can agentically repel themselves from certain others. As demonstrated
in resilience research, this ironic process – repelling from attractors – is not
uncommon and requires ordinary rather than extraordinary abilities, hence
its nickname ‘ordinary magic’ (Masten, 2001). Motivational theorising
within a complexity framework has paid little attention to this repellent
process to date and has instead focused on the expected trajectory of indi-
viduals gravitating towards attractors. However, potentially introducing
agency into the genes–environment debate, conscious repellent processes
certainly deserve more attention in future research.
I would like to thank Zoltán Dörnyei for his extensive discussion and
feedback on this topic. I also thank Diane Larsen-Freeman, Peter MacIntyre
and William C. Peterson for their comments on an earlier draft.
(1) In explaining his late reply, Skinner (1972: 345– 346) stated, ‘Let me tell you about
Chomsky. I published Verbal Behavior in 1957. In 1958 I received a 55-page typewrit-
ten review by someone I had never heard of named Noam Chomsky. I read half a
dozen pages, saw that it missed the point of my book, and went no further. In 1959,
I received a reprint from the journal Language. It was the review I had seen, now
reduced to 32 pages in type, and again I put it aside. But then, of course, Chomsky’s
star began to rise’.
(2) Although they are not strictly the same, consciousness and rational thinking are
treated in the same way in this context.
Aarts, H., Custers, R. and Marien, H. (2008) Preparing and motivating behavior outside
of awareness. Science 319 (5870), 1639.
Ackerman, J.M., Nocera, C.C. and Bargh, J.A. (2010) Incidental haptic sensations influ-
ence social judgments and decisions. Science 328 (5986), 1712–1715.
Agerström, J. and Björklund, F. (2009) Moral concerns are greater for temporally distant
events and are moderated by value strength. Social Cognition 27 (2), 261–282.
Ahearn, L.M. (2001) Language and agency. Annual Review of Anthropology 30 (1),
Akbaraly, T.N., Brunner, E.J., Ferrie, J.E., Marmot, M.G., Kivimaki, M. and Singh-
Manoux, A. (2009) Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. The
British Journal of Psychiatry 195 (5), 408–413.
66 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Ammon, K. and Gandevia, S.C. (1990) Transcranial magnetic stimulation can influence
the selection of motor programmes. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
53 (8), 705–707.
Archer, M.S. (2000) Being Human: The Problem of Agency. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Assal, F., Schwartz, S. and Vuilleumier, P. (2007) Moving with or without will: Functional
neural correlates of alien hand syndrome. Annals of Neurology 62 (3), 301–306.
Baert, P. and da Silva, F.C. (2010) Social Theory in the Twentieth Century and Beyond (2nd
edn). Cambridge: Polity.
Bandura, A. (1986) Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1997) Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman.
Bandura, A. (2001) Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of
Psychology 52, 1–26.
Bandura, A. (2007) Much ado over a fault y conception of perceived self-efficacy grounded
in faulty experimentation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 26 (6), 641–658.
Bandura, A. (2008) Reconstrual of ‘free will’ from the agentic perspective of social cogni-
tive theory. In J. Baer, J.C. Kaufman and R.F. Baumeister (eds) Are We Free? Psychology
and Free Will (pp. 86–127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Banks, W.P. and Isham, E.A . (20 09) We i nfer rather than perceive the moment we decided
to act. Psychological Science 20 (1), 17–21.
Bar-Anan, Y., Wilson, T.D. and Hassin, R.R. (2010) Inaccurate self-knowledge formation
as a result of automatic behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46 (6),
Bargh, J.A. (1997) Reply to the commentaries. In R.S. Wyer (ed.) The Automaticity of
Everyday Life (pp. 231–246). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Bargh, J.A. and Chartrand, T.L. (2000) The mind in the middle: A practical guide to prim-
ing and automaticity research. In H.T. Reis and C.M. Judd (eds) Handbook of Research
Methods in Social and Personality Psychology (pp. 253–285). New York: Cambridge
Bargh, J.A. and Ferguson, M.J. (2000) Beyond behaviorism: On the automaticity of higher
mental processes. Psychological Bulletin 126 (6), 925–945.
Bargh, J.A. and Williams, E.L. (2006) The automaticity of social life. Current Directions in
Psychological Science 15 (1), 1–4.
Bargh, J.A., Gollwitzer, P.M., Lee-Chai, A., Barndollar, K. and Trötschel, R. (2001) The
automated will: Nonconscious activation and pursuit of behavioural goals. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology 81 (6), 1014–1027.
Bargh, J.A., Schwader, K.L., Hailey, S.E., Dyer, R.L. and Boothby, E.J. (2012) Automaticity
in social-cognitive processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (12), 593–605.
Baumeister, R.F. and Masicampo, E.J. (2010) Conscious thought is for facilitating social
and cultural interactions: How mental simulations serve the animal–culture inter-
face. Psychological Review 117 (3), 945–971.
Baumeister, R.F., Masicampo, E.J. and Vohs, K.D. (2011) Do conscious thoughts cause
behavior? Annual Review of Psychology 62 (1), 331–361.
Bohner, G. and Dickel, N. (2011) Attitudes and attitude change. Annual Review of Psychology
62 (1), 391–417.
Bonanno, G.A. (2004) Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated
the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist
59 (1), 20–28.
Bonanno, G.A. (2005) Resilience in the face of potential trauma. Current Directions in
Psychological Science 14 (3), 135–138.
Bouchard, Jr. T.J. (2004) Genetic influence on human psychological traits: A survey.
Current Directions in Psychological Science 13 (4), 148–151.
Human Agency 67
Bouchard, Jr. T.J. (2008) Genes and human psychological traits. In P. Carruthers,
S. Laurence and S.P. Stich (eds) The Innate Mind, Volume 3: Foundations and the Future
(pp. 69–89). New York: Oxford University Press.
Bouchard, Jr. T.J. and McGue, M. (2003) Genetic and environmental influences on human
psychological differences. Journal of Neurobiology 54 (1), 4–45.
Bourdieu, P. (1977) Outline of A Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
(original work published 1972).
Brown, R. (2010) Prejudice: Its Social Psychology (2nd edn). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Burbridge, D. (2001) Francis Galton on twins, heredity and so cial class. The British Journal
for the History of Science 34 (3), 323–340.
Burns, J.M. and Swerdlow, R.H. (2003) Right orbitofrontal tumor with pedophilia symp-
tom and constructional apraxia sign. Archives of Neurology 60 (3), 437–440.
Chartra nd, T.L . and Bargh, J.A . (1996) Automatic act ivation of impression for mation and
memorization goals: Nonconscious goal priming reproduces effects of explicit task
instructions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71 (3), 464–478.
Chartrand, T.L. and Bargh, J.A. (1999) The chameleon effect: The perception–behavior
link and social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76 (6),
Chomsky, N. (1959) A review of BF Skinner’s Verbal Behavior. Language 35 (1), 26–58.
Cicchetti, D. (2010) Resilience under conditions of extreme stress: A multilevel perspec-
tive. World Psychiatry 9 (3), 145–154.
Cohen Kadosh, R., Soskic, S., Iuculano, T., Kanai, R. and Walsh, V. (2010) Modulating
neuronal activity produces specific and long-lasting changes in numerical compe-
tence. Current Biology 20 (22), 2016–2020.
Crano, W.D. and Prislin, R. (2008) Attitudes and Attitude Change. New York: Psychology
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2006) Introduction. In M. Csikszentmihalyi and I.S.
Csikszentmihalyi (eds) A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology (pp.
3–14). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dennett, D.C. (2004) Freedom Evolves. London: Penguin.
Dijksterhuis, A., Chartrand, T.L. and Aarts, H. (2007) Effects of priming and perception
on social behavior and goal pursuit. In J.A. Bargh (ed.) Social Psychology and the
Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Mental Processes (pp. 51–132). New York:
Dörnyei, Z. (2009) Individual differences: Interplay of learner characteristics and learning
environment. In N.C. Ellis and D. Larsen-Freeman (eds) Language as a Complex
Adaptive System (pp. 230–248). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Dreier, O. (2008) Psychotherapy in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Duff, P.A. (2012) Identity, agency, and second language acquisition. In S.M. Gass and
A. Mackey (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 410–426).
Durkheim, E. and Lukes, S. (1982) The Rules of Sociological Method. New York: Free Press
(original work published 1895).
Dweck, C.S. and Molden, D.C. (2008) Self-theories: The construction of free will. In
J. Baer, J.C. Kaufman and R.F. Baumeister (eds) Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will
(pp. 44– 64). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ellis, N.C. (2002) Frequency effects in language processing: A review with implications
for theories of implicit and explicit language acquisition. Studies in Second Language
Acquisition 24 (2), 143–188.
Ferguson, M.J. (2008) On becoming ready to pursue a goal you don’t know you have:
Effects of nonconscious goals on evaluative readiness. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology 95 (6), 1268–1294.
68 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Ferguson, M.J. and Bargh, J.A. (2004) Liking is for doing: The effects of goal pursuit on
automatic evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87 (5), 557–572.
Filevich, E., Kuhn, S. and Haggard, P. (2012) Intentional inhibition in human action: The
power of ‘no’. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 36 (4), 1107–1118.
Fitzsimons, G.M. and Shah, J.Y. (2009) Confusing one instrumental other for another:
Goal effects on social categorization. Psychological Science 20 (12), 1468–1472.
Fleischman, J. (2002) Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science. Boston:
Fried, I., Mukamel, R. and Kreiman, G. (2011) Internally generated preactivation of
single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition. Neuron 69 (3),
Gao, X. (2010) Strategic Language Learning: The Roles of Agency and Context. Bristol:
Gazzaniga, M.S. (2012) Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain. New York:
Giddens, A. (1984) The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration.
Glimcher, P.W. (2005) Indeterminacy in brain and behavior. Annual Review of Psychology
Goldberg, E. (2001) The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind. Oxford: Oxford
Guggisberg, A.G., Dalal, S.S., Findlay, A.M. and Nagarajan, S.S. (2008) High-frequency
oscillations in distributed neural networks reveal the dynamics of human decision
making. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 1, 14.
Haggard, P. (2011) Decision time for free will. Neuron 69 (3), 404–406.
Haggard, P. and Eimer, M. (1999) On the relation between brain potentials and the aware-
ness of voluntary movements. Experimental Brain Research 126 (1), 128–133.
Hall, L., Johansson, P., Tärning, B., Sikström, S. and Deutgen, T. (2010) Magic at the
marketplace: Choice blindness for the taste of jam and the smell of tea. Cognition
117 (1), 54–61.
Hassin, R.R. (2008) Being open minded without knowing why: Evidence from noncon-
scious goal pursuit. Social Cognition 26 (5), 578–592.
Heller, S. (2005) Freud A to Z. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Hogg, M.A. and Abrams, D. (1993) Group Motivation: Social Psychological Perspectives. New
York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Hogg, M.A., Abrams, D., Otten, S. and Hinkle, S. (2004) The social identity perspective:
Intergroup relations, self-conception, and small groups. Small Group Research 35 (3),
Holland, R.W., Wennekers, A.M., Bijlstra, G., Jongenelen, M.M. and van Knippenberg, A.
(2009) Self-symbols as implicit motivators. Social Cognition 27 (4), 579– 600.
Hume, D. (1921) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Chicago: Open Court (origi-
nal work published 1748).
Huxley, T.H. (2011) Collected Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (original
work published 1894).
Jetten, J. and Hornsey, M.J. (2012) Conformity: Revisiting Asch’s line-judgment studies.
In J.R. Smith and S.A. Haslam (eds) Social Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies (pp.
76–90). London: SAGE.
Johansson, P., Hall, L., Sikström, S. and Olsson, A. (2005) Failure to detect mismatches
between intention and outcome in a simple decision task. Science 310 (5745),
Juarrero, A. (1999) Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press.
Kane, R. (1996) The Significance of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
Human Agency 69
Kendler, K.S. (2006) ‘A gene for .. .’: The nature of gene action in psychiatric disorders.
FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry 4 (3), 391–400.
Kesse-Guyot, E., Andreeva, V.A., Jeandel, C., Ferry, M., Hercberg, S. and Galan, P. (2012)
A healthy dietary pattern at midlife is associated with subsequent cognitive perfor-
mance. The Journal of Nutrition 142 (5), 909–915.
Klemm, W.R. (2010) Free will debates: Simple experiments are not so simple. Advances in
Cognitive Psychology 6 (6), 47–65.
Kornhuber, H. and Deecke, L. (1965) Hirnpotentialänderungen bei Willkürbewegungen
und passiven Bewegungen des Menschen: Bereitschaftspotential und reafferente
Potentiale. Pf lüger’s Archiv für die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere 284 (1),
Lantolf, J.P. and Thorne, S.L. (2006) Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language
Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Larsen-Freeman, D. and Cameron, L. (2008) Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lau, H.C. (2009) Volition and the function of consciousness. In N. Murphy, G.F.R. Ellis
and T. O’Connor (eds) Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (pp. 153–
169). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
Libet, B. (2003) Can conscious experience affect brain activity? Journal of Consciousness
Studies 10 (12), 24–28.
Libet, B. (2004) Mind Time: The Temporal Factor in Consciousness. Boston, MA: Harvard
Libet, B., Gleason, C.A., Wright, E.W. and Pearl, D.K. (1983) Time of conscious intention
to act in relation to onset of cerebral activity (readiness-potential): The unconscious
initiation of a freely voluntary act. Brain 106 (3), 623–642.
Luthar, S.S., Cicchetti, D. and Becker, B. (2000) The construct of resilience: A critical
evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development 71 (3), 543–562.
Macmillan, M. (2000) An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Masten, A.S. (2001) Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American
Psychologist 56 (3), 227–238.
Masten, A.S. (2012) Resilience in children: Vintage Rutter and beyond. In P.C. Quinn and
A. Slater (eds) Developmental Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies (pp. 204–221).
Matsuhashi, M. and Hallett, M. (2008) The timing of the conscious intention to move.
European Journal of Neuroscience 28 (11), 2344–2351.
Mauss, I.B., Cook, C.L. and Gross, J.J. (2007) Automatic emotion regulation during anger
provocation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43 (5), 698–711.
McAdams, D.P. and Pals, J.L. (2006) A new Big Five: Fundamental principles for an inte-
grative science of personality. American Psychologist 61 (3), 204–217.
Mele, A.R. (2009) Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will. Oxford: Oxford
Miller, G.A. (2003) The cognitive revolution: A historical perspective. Tre nds i n Cog nit ive
Sciences 7 (3), 141–144.
Mischel, W. (1997) Was the cognitive revolution just a detour on the road to behaviorism?
On the need to reconcile situational control and personal control. In R.S. Wyer (ed.)
The Automaticity of Everyday Life (pp. 181–186). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Mlodinow, L. (2008) The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. London: Allen
Mobbs, D., Lau, H.C., Jones, O.D. and Frith, C.D. (2009) Law, responsibility, and the
brain. In N.C. Murphy, G.F.R. Ellis and T. O’Connor (eds) Downward Causation and
the Neurobiology of Free Will (pp. 243–260). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
70 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries
Moore, S.G., Ferguson, M.J. and Chartrand, T.L. (2011) Affect in the aftermath: How goal
pursuit influences implicit evaluations. Cognition & Emotion 25 (3), 453–465.
Myers, D.G. (2008) Determined and free. In J. Baer, J.C. Kaufman and R.F. Baumeister
(eds) Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will (pp. 32–43). Oxford: Oxford University
Nahmias, E. (2010) Scientific challenges to free will. In T. O’Connor and C. Sandis (eds)
A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (pp. 345– 356). Wiley-Blackwell.
Neely, J.H. (1991) Semantic priming effects in visual word recognition: A selective review
of current findings and theories. In D. Besner and G.W. Humphreys (eds) Basic
Processes in Reading: Visual Word Recognition (pp. 264–336). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Nichols, S. (2008) How can psychology contribute to the free will debate? In J. Baer, J.C.
Kaufman and R.F. Baumeister (eds) Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will (pp. 10–31).
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nordgren, L.F., Bos, M.W. and Dijksterhuis, A. (2011) The best of both worlds: Integrating
conscious and unconscious thought best solves complex decisions. Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology 47 (2), 509– 511.
Pessiglione, M., Schmidt, L., Draganski, B., Kalisch, R., Lau, H.C., Dolan, R.J. and Frith,
C.D. (2007) How the brain translates money into force: A neuroimaging study of
subliminal motivation. Science 316 (5826), 904–906.
Plomin, R. (1990) The role of inheritance in behavior. Science 248 (4952), 183–188.
Plomin, R., deFries, J.C., McClearn, G.E. and McGuffin, P. (2001) Behavioral Genetics (4th
edn). New York: Worth.
Reicher, S. (2001) The psychology of crowd dynamics. In M.A. Hogg and R.S. Tindale
(eds) Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Group Processes (pp. 182–208). Oxford:
Rennison, N. (2001) Freud & Psychoanalysis. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials.
Robinson, P.A. (1993) Freud and His Critics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rosenthal, R. (2003) Covert communication in laboratories, classrooms, and the truly
real world. Current Directions in Psychological Science 12 (5), 151–154.
Rutter, M. (2006) Genes and Behavior: Nature–Nurture Interplay Explained. Malden, MA:
Sánchez-Villegas, A., Delgado-Rodriguez, M., Alonso, A., Schlatter, J., Lahortiga, F., Serra
Majem, L. and Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A. (2009) Association of the Mediterranean
dietary pattern with the incidence of depression: The Seguimiento Universidad de
Navarra/University of Navarra follow-up (SUN) cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry
66 (10), 1090–1098.
Sealey, A. and Carter, B. (2004) Applied Linguistics as Social Science. London:
Segal, N.L. (2012) Born Together—Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Séguin Lévesque, C. (1999) On the existence and the consequences of automatically acti-
vated motivation. PhD thesis, University of Ottawa, USA.
Sherman, N. (2000) Emotional agents. In M.P. Levine (ed.) The Analytic Freud: Philosophy
and Psychoanalysis (pp. 154–176). London: Routledge.
Skinner, B.F. (1957) Verbal B ehavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Skinner, B.F. (1961) A critique of psychoanalytic concepts and theories. In B.F. Skinner
(ed.) Cumulative Record (enlarged ed., pp. 185–194). East Norwalk, CT, US:
Skinner, B.F. (1972) A lecture on ‘having’ a poem. In B.F. Skinner (ed.) Cumulative Record
(3rd edn) (pp. 345–355). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Skinner, B.F. (1973) Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin.
Human Agency 71
Skinner, B.F. (1978) Reflections on Behaviorism and Society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Skinner, B.F. (1981) Selection by consequences. Science 213 (4507), 501–504.
Skinner, B.F. (1989) The origins of cognitive thought. American Psychologist 44 (1), 13–18.
Skinner, B.F. (1990) Can psychology be a science of mind? American Psychologist 45 (11),
Smith, K. (2011) Neuroscience vs. philosophy: Taking aim at free will. Nature 477, 23–25.
Snowball, A., Tachtsidis, I., Popescu, T., Thompson, J., Delazer, M., Zamarian, L ., Zhu,
T. and Cohen Kadosh, R. (2013) Long-term enhancement of brain function and cog-
nition using cognitive training and brain stimulation. Current Biology 23 (11),
Soon, C.S., Brass, M., Heinze, H.J. and Haynes, J.D. (2008) Unconscious determinants of
free decisions in the human brain. Nature Neuroscience 11 (5), 543–545.
Tajfel, H. and Turner, J.C. (1986) The social identity theory of intergroup behaviour. In
W.G. Austin and S. Worchel (eds) Psychology of Intergroup Relations (pp. 7–24). C hicago,
Terburg, D., Aarts, H. and van Honk, J. (2012) Testosterone affects gaze aversion from
angry faces outside of conscious awareness. Psychological Science 23 (5), 459–463.
Thurschwell, P. (2000) Sigmund Freud. London: Routledge.
Tol man, E.C . (1951) Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men. Berkeley: University of
California Press (original work published 1932).
Trevena, J. and Miller, J. (2010) Brain preparation before a voluntary action: Evidence
against unconscious movement initiation. Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1),
van Lier, L. (2013) Control and initiative: The dynamics of agency in the language class-
room. In J. Arnold and T. Murphey (eds) Meaningful Action: Earl Stevick’s Influence on
Language Teaching (pp. 241–251). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vohs, K.D. and Schooler, J.W. (2008) The value of believing in free will: Encouraging a
belief in determinism increases cheating. Psychological Science 19 (1), 49–54.
von Stumm, S. (2012) You are what you eat? Meal type, socio-economic status and cogni-
tive ability in childhood. Intelligence 40 (6), 576–583.
Watson, J.B. (1913) Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Psychological Review 20 (2),
Weber, M., Roth, G. and Wittich, C. (1978). Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretative
Sociology. Berkeley: University of California Press (original work published 1922).
Wegner, D.M. (2002) The Illusion of Conscious Will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wegner, D.M. and Bargh, J.A. (1998) Control and automaticity in social life. In D.T.
Gilbert, S.T. Fiske and G. Lindzey (eds) The Handbook of Social Psychology (4th edn) (pp.
446–496). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Westen, D. (1999) The scientific status of unconscious processes: Is Freud really dead?
Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 47 (4), 1061–1106.
Williams, L.E. and Bargh, J.A. (2008) Experiencing physical warmth promotes interper-
sonal warmth. Science 322 (5901), 606– 607.
Wilson, T.D. (2002) Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious. Cambridge,
MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Windmann, S. (2005) What you see is never what you get: Dissociating top-down driven
biases in perception and memory from bottom-up processes. In A. Columbus (ed.)
Advances in Psychology Research, Volume 35 (pp. 1–27). New York: Nova Science
Zak, P.J., Kurzban, R., Ahmadi, S., Swerdloff, R.S., Park, J., Efremidze, L., Redwine, K.,
Morgan, K. and Matzner, W. (2009) Testosterone administration decreases generos-
ity in the ultimatum game. PLoS One 4 (12), e8330.
72 Part 1: Conceptual Summaries