Free will and determinism - Issues and debates

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 03-03-19 19:24
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  • Free will and determinism (are we in control of what we do?)
    • Free will    The ability to choose our own behaviour and act how we want; we can make our own decisions
      • Associated approach: Humanistic
    • Determinism We have no control over our actions; everything is pre-determined
      • Hard determinism Behaviour is completely determined by external forces; no control of actions
        • Associated approach: Biological
      • Soft determination Behaviour is determined, but there is still an element of control (free will)
        • Associated approach: Behaviourist
    • Psychic determinism Explains how unconscious thoughts affect behaviour;  every action has an origin in the unconscious
      • Example Freudian slips Accidental projection of the unconscious mind
    • Environmental determinism Behaviour learned from environment; Stimulus-Response
      • Example Classical: behaviour learnt from stimulus Operant: too deterministic, consequence makes behaviour more likely (potentially suggests free          will)           SLT: soft determinism as still free will
      • Reciprocal determinism No motivation or inability to complete behaviour
    • Biological determinism Influence of genetics, brain physiology and biochemistry on behaviour
      • Hard determinism cannot be proven (one single gene for a behaviour) so soft must be accepted
      • Example schizophrenia caused by high dopamine levels; Aggression caused by testosterone; can be controlled by drugs so is less deterministic
    • Scientific explanation
      • Theory -> Prediction -> Hypothesis
      • Empirical methods (controlled and standardised conditions)
      • Cause and effect Establishes specific cause of a behaviour


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