ISSUES AND DEBATES - Determinism and free will

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  • Determinism and free will
    • Free will
      • the idea that if circumstances were exactly the same, we could have behaved in a diff way
      • without free will:
        • no real choice (despite our experience of choice)
        • prediction, manipulation, control
        • no responsibility
      • LIBET: 'decisions' appear to have been taken by the brain up to 7 seconds before PP records being aware of the decision
        • casts doubt on free will. Libet - still have 'free won't' - can reject an action
        • eval: not been replicated for more complex decisions / thought processes
      • libertarian FW - belief that humans freely choose their actions
      • Evaluation (A03)
        • can't prove a negative (eg you can think something doesn't exist but you can't prove it - God)
        • FW difficult to investigate - can't recreate  conditions to test if we would've acted diff
      • causation
        • agent causation: an agent can start up a chain of causality that wasn't caused by anything else
        • event causation: an event can occur without having being caused by another physical event
          • many libertarians concede that the physical world itself is deterministic (eg. ball flying through air bc it was hit with a bat)
    • Determinism
      • HARD DETER: the belief that all behaviour has a cause (butterfly effect)
        • idea that we can trace back causation and see that options are limited at each stage
      • some psychologists favour deterministic view bc it suggests that everything has a reason
      • some people concerned about deterministic views - sense of self gone
      • SOFT DETER (or compatibilism) : we have free will but within certain constraints
      • types of determinism: biological (inc. genetic), environmental, psychic
        • biological: genetics, brain physiology, biochemistry. Role of evolution and genetics of influencing behaviour
        • environmental: behav determined by environmental influences
        • psychic: role of the unconscious on the conscious & how it affects behaviour
      • scientism - use of methods from natural sciences to find causal mechanisms for behaviour and thought
        • argues for deterministic viewpoint but denies personal and moral responsibility
      • what causes an action? - belief, desire, temperament
      • VOHS & SCHOOLER - PPs exposed to deterministic statements were more likely to cheat on subsequent test than those exposed to neutral statements
      • Eval (A03)
        • most scientists now believe that science is properly deterministic
        • ROSKIES - neuroscientific imagery is probabilistic - we can't predict firing of exact neuron
      • BERGH - sentence unscrambling. IV = words associated with age. DV - time taken to walk out of lab. People with 'old' words, made people walk slower
      • PRIMING?

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