Our aim is to map the structure of the folk concepts of weakness and strength of will, which requires empirically motivated answers to various questions. Is there significant cross-cultural variation in these concepts? Do they form a perfectly complementary semantic opposition? Do they refer chiefly to personality traits or to specific decision-making processes and actions? What are the conceptual differences related to these distinct references? Which types of structure do these concepts possess? Are their formats like prototypes or like micro-theories, for example? Are they evaluative concepts, as suggested by the expressions “succumbing or not succumbing to temptation”? If so, would they be part of folk morality rather than folk psychology? To which types of decision-making conflicts do they apply? Which component is more fundamental to their structure—a notion of resolution or of best judgment? Which absence or presence of control and freedom do they imply? We plan to investigate these and other pertinent questions, and we have already obtained interesting results with respect to some of them (Mauro & Sousa, in preparation).
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