chapter  12
Tumor Rejection and Early Experience of Uncontrollable Shock in the Rat
Pages 8

The most troublesome aspect of the notion of volition is the fact that we know, through constant direct experience, that we have the capacity to initiate or terminate behavior unilaterally. We try to identify and work with the manipulable external determiners of behavior, and when the behavior in question is random with respect to presumed determinants. Both Kahneman and Broadbent did deal with the notions that historically are issues of will and volition, and it seems that these functions of the human being are of abiding interest, even if we are deeply troubled about using them. The study of human freedom, including volition or the opportunity and capacity to initiate free choice, is consistently under experimental investigation. The chapter explains that the psychological study of volition, grounded in behavioristic and positivistic laboratory methodologies, has robbed the notion of its vitality, of what makes it an important area for study.