by Magda Osman
Recently, I participated in a panel discussion at the LSE, hosted by the Forum of European Philosophy and the LSE Choice Group, on wise choices. There, I discussed some ideas from my new book, Future-Minded: The Psychology of Agency and Control (Palgrave 2014).
In the book I ask what drives us to do what we do. To answer this, I introduce the latest psychological research on agency, control, causality and the unconscious, and along the way challenge our folk psychological ideas on a wide range of phenomena (consciousness, subliminal priming, illusion of control, addiction). I discuss new theoretical approaches to understanding agency and control and argue that these psychological mechanisms work much like a future making machine, which shapes and plans the way an organism will act in the future.
The book presents descriptions of experiments in such a way as to give the reader an insight into being a participant in a psychology experiment, and this is then followed by a deconstruction of the experiment and its empirical findings which is a unique approach to describing psychological studies. Topics range from coincidences, unconscious decision making to subliminal advertising, all of which are discussed from the point of view of a single framework.
To sum up, the book presents current research in psychology of the unconscious, causality, agency, and control and combines these research areas in a unique way to present a new understanding of how we act in view of the future.