How Restrictions of Autonomy affect the Sense of Agency
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This study examined how restrictions of autonomy affect the sense of agency. Normally, such a research would take place in a lab setting. However, due to COVID-19 this was not possible. We decided to perform an online research instead. This online research consisted of two studies, first we investigated the relation between restrictions of autonomy and the sense of agency in an online environment with not much control and interaction, subsequently, we investigated the relation in an online setting with more control and interaction. We expected that improving the online research setting would be related to a stronger negative association between restricted autonomy and the sense of agency. To check for the relation between autonomy and the sense of agency, 47 participants performed the Time Interval Estimation task (TIE) in a within-subject design. In addition to this, the data of the two studies was merged to compare the relation between autonomy and the sense of agency between both studies. To do so, the experiment was added as a between-subject variable. Contrary to the first study, we found no prove of a relationship between restricted autonomy and the sense of agency. Thus, improving the online research setting did not lead to finding a stronger negative association. However, we did find that the improved online research setting had led to a higher quality of the methodology of the study. Future studies should use a bigger sample and conduct research in a real-life lab setting.