Social Aspects of Agency: The impact of social consequences and group dynamics on the sense of agency

Moore, Jack. 2021. Social Aspects of Agency: The impact of social consequences and group dynamics on the sense of agency. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The sense of agency refers to our sense of control over our actions and their subsequent effects. Recently, researchers have begun to consider the sense of agency when acting with others. This research has found that when interacting with another the type of agency we experience can change.

The current thesis aimed to understand how two aspects of our social world may affect the sense of agency. Our first two experimental chapters used an implicit measure (intentional binding) to assess how the social consequences of an action may affect the sense of agency. The first chapter found that, when acting with another, our agentic identity may shift, such that both participants consider themselves as part of an agentic whole. They also found that this can be manipulated by the perceived relationship we have with others. The second chapter indicated that, when acting alone, we implicitly feel more agency over self-interested, compared to pro-social, actions.

In our second two experimental sections we considered agency during co-ordinated joint actions. In these studies participants completed synchronous joint actions with one another. The first of these studies observed a negative correlation between the amount of agency we implicitly feel when acting alone, and how much we report when acting with others. Our final study assessed the relationship between our sense of agency and group flow, observing group flow to be linked to quantitative but not qualitative changes in the sense of agency.

Finally, a discussion of the implications of these studies is given. This highlights the large effect that acting with others has on the weighting of sensory cues, as well as who should be considered liable for the outcomes of joint actions.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00030628

Keywords:

sense of agency; social agency; group flow; joint action; pro-social actions

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Cognitive Neuroscience Unit

Date:

31 October 2021

Item ID:

30628

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2021 12:07

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2021 09:20

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30628

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