My most compelling intuition is that the effective freedom to achieve a state I could want, even if I don't actually want it, makes me better off so that even if I don't actually want something I'm still worse off for not being able to get it. Others find this completely counterintuitive.
In the spirit of experimental philosophy, I'd like to know if there's any data on the pervasiveness of this intuition. Or, if not, whether there's any convenient way of getting data–like a list of willing subjects who would be amenable to a Survey Monkey query.
I would also be interested in the demographics of who shares this intuition. My guess is that having or not having this intuition depends on the extent to which one is, or believes oneself to be, constrained and so would track differences in social and economic privilege. My conjecture is that if you have few options, in making decisions you <i>first</i> identify what's feasible, surveying the relatively narrow range of realistic options and the boundary that marks them off from the vast range of merely logical possibilities that aren't feasible for you. So you're always aware of constraint and perceive it as a burden even when your actual desires aren't frustrated.
By contrast, if you're relatively privileged (judging from my student advisees at least) you don't typically begin the decision-making process by determining what's feasible. You only recognize the constraints after you've formed a desire and that desire has been frustrated. So you're only aware of constraints when they block the satisfaction of actual desires.
This seems like a reasonable armchair explanation, but I'd be interested in whether there's any empirical data.
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