Mind Hacks:

A delightful study just published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that belief in free will predicted job performance better than conscientiousness, belief in influence over life events and a commitment to a ‘Protestant work ethic’ where diligent labour is seen as a benefit in itself.

Do philosophic views affect job performance? The authors found that possessing a belief in free will predicted better career attitudes and actual job performance. The effect of free will beliefs on job performance indicators were over and above well-established predictors such as conscientiousness, locus of control, and Protestant work ethic.

In Study 1, stronger belief in free will corresponded to more positive attitudes about expected career success. In Study 2, job performance was evaluated objectively and independently by a supervisor. Results indicated that employees who espoused free will beliefs were given better work performance evaluations than those who disbelieve in free will, presumably because belief in free will facilitates exerting control over one’s actions.