If I am acting based on a compulsion, then I am acting because I am forced to do so. I have given up my power to chose. What is the opposite of this? If I decide to act after careful analysis and decision, what is this called?

  • Out of your free will, maybe.
    – user66974
    Jul 1 '14 at 16:03
  • 2
    You want an antonym for compulsion or one word for "acting after analysis?"
    – vickyace
    Jul 1 '14 at 16:11
  • 1
    acting with deliberation is not the opposite of acting from compulsion.
    – Oldcat
    Jul 1 '14 at 17:04

You are acting of your own volition, which Merriam Webster defines as "the power to make your own choices or decisions".

Or you could say you are acting of your own accord, which Wiktionary defines as "voluntarily, without being told to or asked to".

  • Volition is exactly the word I needed
    – Hoytman
    Jul 1 '14 at 17:24

You can say you're acting "deliberately" or "with careful deliberation".

From the MacMillanDictionary.com:


1) with a definite intention, not by chance or by accident

Examples: "You did that deliberately, just to annoy me.",

"Police believe the fire was started deliberately."

"Her voice was deliberately cool."

2) in a slow careful way

Example: "He spoke deliberately, considering each word carefully."


There are several notions of compulsion.

One opposite of compulsion not yet mentioned is agency. Another is autonomy.

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