Freely Determined: What the New Psychology of the Self Teaches Us About How to Live

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Basic Books, Nov 1, 2022 - Psychology - 272 pages
A renowned psychologist argues that free will is not only real but essential to our well-being 
It’s become fashionable to argue that free will is a fiction: that we humans are in the thrall of animal urges and unconscious biases and only think that we are choosing freely. In Freely Determined, research psychologist Kennon Sheldon argues that this perception is not only wrong but also dangerous. Drawing on decades of his own groundbreaking empirical research into motivation and goal setting, Sheldon shows us that embracing the ability to choose our path in life makes us happier, healthier, and more fulfilled. He also shows that this insight can help us choose better goals—ones that are concordant with our values and that, critically, we’re more likely to actually see through.  
Providing readers insight into how they can live a more self-directed, satisfying life, Freely Determined offers an essential guide for how we might recognize our freedom and use it wisely. 


Why Free Will Matters
The Problems with Determinism
The Grand Hierarchy of Human Reality
The Source of Our Free Will
If Were Free Why Dont We Feel Free?
Untangling the Mysteries of the Symbolic Self
Finding the Symbolic Self in the Brain
The Problem of Too Much Freedom
What Brings Happiness
The Digital Self
The Creative Process of Living
Living Well Together
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About the author (2022)

Kennon M. Sheldon is professor of psychology at the University of Missouri. He is one of the founding researchers of positive psychology, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a recipient of the Templeton Foundation Positive Psychology Prize. He lives in Columbia, Missouri. 

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