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Minimizing belief in free will may lessen support for criminal punishment

Exposure to information that diminishes free will, including brain-based accounts of behavior, seems to decrease people's support for retributive punishment, according to research. People who learned about neuroscientific research, either by reading a magazine article or through undergraduate coursework, proposed less severe punishment for a hypothetical criminal than did their peers. The findings suggest that they did so because they saw the criminal as less blameworthy.
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