Influences on free will and determinism: psychology

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  • Influences on free will and determinism: psychology
    • Psychology seeks to understand how our mind works and how it influences our behaviour, attitudes and thinking.
    • Behaviourism: the area of psychology that links to Determinism.
    • Our behaviour can be predicted, as it is based on prior experiences and causes.
    • Watson: Human behaviour can be controlled because we live in a deterministic universe and doesn't leave anything up to choice.
      • Includes all areas of ethics and moral decision making in this belief because these are all known and determinable in a universe that can be nothing but determined.
      • In the psychological debate of nature versus nurture, he says that both of them can be used to change and reinforce forms of behaviour.
        • Example: If you change the environment that a drug addict lives in and you can change the addictive behaviour.
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    • Freud: Our early years have immense impact on our actions in the future.
      • Prior causes determine our moral development and therefore our actions in the future.
      • All our actions, moral or amoral are caused by "repressed," or "subconscious," memories or feelings that stem back to our childhood.
    • B.F Skinner: Behaviour can be controlled by reward and punishment.
      • If scientists and psychologists can observe and control our actions that our actions must be determined.
      • If this is the case then we cannot be held morally responsible for our actions.


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