We believe deeply in our own free will. I decide to walk through the doorway and I do, as simple as that. But from a scientific point of view, free will is extremely puzzling. For science, what we do results from the causal chain of events in our brains and minds. Where does free will fit in?
But if free will doesn’t exist, why do we believe so strongly that it does? Where does that belief come from? In a new study in the journal Cognition, my colleagues and I tried to find out by looking at what children think about free will. When and how do our ideas about freedom develop?