Free choice is sometimes hard to define but rather easy to measure since free choice results in very particular patterns of electrical activity in the brain. The electroencephalogram or EEG indicates an subconscious versus conscious state and can differentiate different stages of sleep as well. Neural pathologies like epilepsy and coma also have very distinctive EEG spectra.
Free choice comprises progressive orders of recursive neural emotion:
zero order: joy and misery, anger and serenity, infants less than two years old;
first order: pleasure of discovery versus anxiety of the unknown, children less than six;
second order: free choice and compassion, bonding with others, long term memory, less than 18;
pride and shame, bonding with civilization, adults;
third order: spectral free choice, rapture of ecstasy, bonding with cosmos, passing away.
Free choice is also a learned process from acting like others act just like learning to communicate with language by acting like others act. Therefore it is useful to rank the development of free choice in general orders that the stages of human development define. When a child is first born with complete free choice, the two emotions of joy and misery pretty much determine the physical and parental inhibition of that child's free choice. Crying represents an infant's misery that a parent addresses while joy represents the looks and smiles and not crying then reinforces parental care.
Thus a second order free choice occurs by about age six or so when a child begins to develop long term memories. Between two and six a child learns how to limit their free choice with compassion for others and how to limit other's free choices with anger and serenity. Free choice is a necessary emotion for survival just as compassion is a necessary emotion for bonding with others and as anger is necessary to limit other's free will. The child's long term memory allows development of bonding with others and sets the stage for ascent into civilization. Schools bring children together for learning and social interactions that introduce pride in accomplishments as well shame to conform behavior to a norm.
With a final emotion complement of pride and shame, second order free choice at age 18 or so is when a child transitions to an adult capable of survival on their own. Having developed a full complement of emotions, an adult is proud of the pleasure of discovery just as a child, but limits that pleasure by an appropriate anxiety about the consequences of shame. Driving an auto is a pleasant way to discover many things, but driving into a tree or another person is not something that is useful to discover.
Throughout life, people experience joy and misery along with anger and serenity in all of their endeavors, then pleasure and anxiety come next followed by free choice and compassion. Finally, pride and shame are a necessary emotions for fully conforming to a social norm and a civilization of laws and justice.
The third and final order of free choice occurs only after much experience in the world and does not necessarily occur for everyone. Third order free choice is the rapture and ecstasy with the discovery that the physical world of space and time is really not quite what it seems like it is. Third order free choice discovers the spectral nature of reality that underlies the apparent external reality of emergent space and time with sources and observers. When we pass into oblivion with this knowledge and wisdom, we experience the rapture and ecstasy of that discovery.