So far the springs of voluntary action have been explored. What do these springs lead to? In other words, what is voluntary action? Confining ourselves as before to muscular movement we find two great kinds of experience attaching to all movements which we are willing to claim as our personal performances. These we may call respectively feeling of effort and feeling of consent. We are willing to claim any movements of our bodies which we consent to, or which we make an effort to bring about. These two feelings may be considered more closely.
What is meant by muscular effort, as a type of experience, is clear when we examine a particular act of voluntary movement: say lifting the arm to a definite height in front of the body. Omitting the elements already found present in reactive or mechanical movement, two great cases of effort present themselves--cases which we may call positive and negative: effort to do, and effort not to do. In positive effort we strive to bring about movement: let us call this feeling the fiat of will. In negative effort we strive to put an end to a movement, to control or suppress it: this we may call the neget of will. For example, I am charged with not moving a paralyzed arm, and I reply, "No, but I tried to!" This is the flat. A child is blamed for moving, and he cries: "Yes, but I tried not to!" This is the neget.
There are certain new factors involved in a fiat of will, factors both psychological and physiological.____________________