The neuropsychology of free will: An expensive mechanism (pre-publication manuscript)

Please note this is the pre-publication manuscript to the article that has been published in the BPS Psych-Talk magazine (also the formatting is not quite right but I’m not sure how to format it properly on here):

Evangelou, G. (2019). The neuropsychology of free will: An expensive mechanism. BPS Psych-Talk, 92, 7-9.

Link: https://shop.bps.org.uk/publications/publication-by-series/psych-talk/psychtalk-issue-92-january-2019.html

The neuropsychology of free will: An expensive mechanism

George Evangelou

Concerns of investigating free will

What is free will? Let’s save for the infinite philosophical rabbit hole for now… Please raise your hand. Congratulations, whether you raised it or not, you exercised your free will to do so (I hope). That will suffice as a basic example and allow us to move forward. Conflict with free will and its subject to question has been around long before neuroscience, whether it be: theology (the paradox between an omniscient being and our free will), physics (subject to physical laws of the universe), biology and evolution (subject to our genetic make-up and survival of the fittest) or of course, philosophy (“Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains”; Rousseau, 1762).

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Getting older is not the definition of growing up: Important things I’m learning as I grow

Is age just a number? “No” is what the common answer tends to be. On the surface that may be correct, as there are things that just naturally come with age such as physiological growth and general life experience within the laws of society (i.e. alcohol consumption and consensual sex). However, knowledge, wisdom and alternative types of experience can be learned at your will.

See, time is a relative concept and your age may depend on how you’ve used time.shutterstock_271332740

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Keep the destination in mind but don’t discount the journey: “Experience vs memory” (Daniel Kahneman)

There will be two points in this post and they are interlinked, let’s get the first and obvious one out of the way before getting to the juicy psychological evidence that we are less aware of (the experiencing self vs the remembering self).

We’ve all heard those “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” kinds of quotes, while it’s not completely true I am inclined to agree with the logic behind this notion. The destination lasts all of what, a moment? Now how long was the journey? Weeks? Months? Years? At least, the journey tends to be considerably longer, so you had better pay attention to it. All too often I hear 

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Thought as force: What dissociative identity disorder (DID) suggests about the “mind over matter” phenomenon

I hope by now you have all seen the film Split and if you haven’t then you should probably go and watch it because it’s fascinating. A truly captivating performance by James McAvoy who delivered a memorable portrayal of what is deemed a very controversial disorder, as well as a striking performance by Anya Taylor-Joy and the rest of the cast which made for a brilliant film overall. Of course, the film stretched the spectrum beyond possibility (as far as we know…) with The Beast but it is a fictional film after all. What raises interest however

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The Black Swan Theory of Heath Ledger’s Joker and analysing some of the points made by The Joker in The Dark Knight

Black Swan Theory of Heath Ledger’s Joker

Let’s start with my theory of Heath Ledger’s performance and the ill-fated result in his tragedy. I think it’s all-round agreeable that his display of The Joker was nothing short of spectacular, it is arguably perfect – “perfect?”, perfect is typically impossible right, I know but let me explain the concept.

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“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” – Aristotle

Okay so before I proceed to posting my theories and analyses of… well, anything that intrigues me, I thought I’d start by explaining my interpretation of this quote. “Why?” you ask, well mainly because some of the thoughts I put across may not be the popular opinion so I want the readers to understand the way my mind works and this will help to convey that; also, because I do love a good quote (as you will come to learn about me).

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