The answers could also end up influencing people’s behaviour. In 2008, Kathleen Vohs, a social psychologist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and her colleague Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist now at the University of California, Santa Barbara, published a study5 on how people behave when they are prompted to think that determinism is true. They asked their subjects to read one of two passages: one suggesting that behaviour boils down to environmental or genetic factors not under personal control; the other neutral about what influences behaviour. The participants then did a few maths problems on a computer. But just before the test started, they were informed that because of a glitch in the computer it occasionally displayed the answer by accident; if this happened, they were to click it away without looking. Those who had read the deterministic message were more likely to cheat on the test. “Perhaps, denying free will simply provides the ultimate excuse to behave as one likes,” Vohs and Schooler suggested.