Free Will Could Be An Illusion

In recent years design practice has mirrored developments in neural science by paying more and more attention to the emotional tagging which produces the instantaneous reactions to products, systems and services upon first contact. People’s reactions and purchasing decisions are rapid, decisive and mostly at a subconscious level.

Following on the chain of exciting neural science discoveries of recent years, one new study suggests that free will might be an illusion created by our brains. People are convinced that they make conscious choices, but instead it may be that the brain just convinces itself that it made a free choice from the available options after the decision is made.

The idea that human beings trick themselves into believing in free will was first suggested in a paper by psychologists Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley nearly 20 years ago. They proposed that the feeling of wanting to do something was real, but that there may be little connection between the feeling and actually doing it.