Distal intentions increase the subjective sense of agency
Experimental studies investigating the contribution of conscious intention to the generation of a sense of agency for one’s own actions tend to rely upon a narrow definition of intention. Often it is operationalized as the conscious sensation of wanting to move right before movement. Existing results and discussion are therefore missing crucial aspects of intentions, namely intention as the conscious sensation of wanting to move in advance of the movement. In the present experiment we used an intentional binding paradigm, in which we distinguished between immediate (proximal) intention, as usually investigated, and longer standing (distal) intention. The results showed that the binding effect was significantly enhanced for distal intentions compared to proximal intentions, indicating that the former leads to stronger sense of agency. Our finding provides empirical support for a crucial distinction between at least two types of intention when addressing the efficacy of conscious intentions.
Consciousness and Cognition, 2013, Vol 22, Issue 3, p. 810-815
Intentional binding; Proximal intention; Distal intention; Sense of agency; Free will; Adult; Female; Humans; Intention; Male; Personal Autonomy; Psychomotor Performance; Time Factors; Young Adult