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Self-Regulation and Human ProgressHow Society Gains When We Govern Less$
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Evan Osborne

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780804796446

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804796446.001.0001

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Assessing the Decline of Confidence in Self-Regulation

Assessing the Decline of Confidence in Self-Regulation

(p.173) Chapter 8 Assessing the Decline of Confidence in Self-Regulation
Self-Regulation and Human Progress

Evan Osborne

Stanford University Press

This chapter uses the new Google nGrams database to track the rise and fall of different English-language phrases in order to illustrate the corresponding rise and fall in confidence in self-regulation. After briefly introducing evidence on the rise in the extent of political regulation over the last century or so, documentation is presented on the parallel rise in skepticism of the self-regulating socioeconomy and self-regulating science generally, and in skepticism of the cognitive capacity of individuals to make socially productive choices in particular.

Keywords:   Changes in how we think and speak, growth in government regulation, nGrams

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