Sense of agency in joint action: a critical review of we-agency

Le Besnerais, Alexis; Moore, James W.; Berberian, Bruno and Grynszpan, Ouriel. 2024. Sense of agency in joint action: a critical review of we-agency. Frontiers in Psychology, 15, 1331084. ISSN 1664-1078 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The sense of agency refers to the experience of control over voluntary actions and their effects. There is growing interest in the notion of we-agency, whereby individual sense of agency is supplanted by a collective agentic experience. The existence of this unique agentic state would have profound implications for human responsibility, and, as such, warrants further scrutiny. In this paper, we review the concept of we-agency and examine whether evidence supports it. We argue that this concept entails multiplying hypothetical agentic states associated with joint action, thus ending up with an entangled phenomenology that appears somewhat speculative when weighted against the available evidence. In light of this, we suggest that the concept of we-agency should be abandoned in favour of a more parsimonious framework for the sense of agency in joint action.

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Funding: The author(s) declare financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This study was supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) grants ANR-20-CE33-0012 (ANR PRC). The funding source was not involved in conducting the research study.

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The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary material, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.


sense of agency, collective identity, joint action, intentional binding, responsibility, human-machine interaction

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16 January 2024Accepted
31 January 2024Published

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Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2024 09:47

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20 Feb 2024 09:52

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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