Journal article

Guilty, free, and wise: Determinism and psychopathy diminish learning from negative emotions

Tyler F Stillman, Roy F Baumeister

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2010

Abstract

Emotional experiences can bring about personal growth. For instance, feeling guilty may prompt one to learn from a mistake, and this learning can bring about different and better future behavior. Three studies found that belief in free will facilitated learning from emotional experiences, as inducing participants to disbelieve in free will was associated with reduced learning. Emotional responsiveness, as defined by low psychopathy scores, also facilitated learning from emotional experiences (Studies 2 and 3). The degree of learning associated with emotional experiences was measured by self-rating (Study 1), independent evaluations of lessons learned (Study 2), and whether participants joine..

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