A2 psychology OCR - Determinism Vs Free Will

Strenghts and weaknesses of both debates, with definitions.

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  • Created on: 25-01-12 16:13
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(A2 level psychology OCR)
Determinism Vs Free Will
Determinism Free Will
This see's human behaviour as a This is the ability to make a
product of forces beyond the choice between certain
control of the individual.
behaviours. Implies that all
Therefore behaviour is
predictable. behaviour is random
therefore can't be predicted.
Hard Determinism
No action of behaviour is free will. It
must occur
Every human action has a cause; one
action is performed rather than
Soft Determinism
Argues that people's behaviour is a
direct result of the environment
An element of free will in all behaviour
yet it is controlled by outside forces.
Biological determinism
Internal factors inherited through genes, links
with hard determinism.
Environmental determinism
Determined by factors that are outside our
control, links with soft determinism.

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Strengths Strengths
Scientific ­ society are more Emphasis on the individual
willing to accept the findings Fits into society's view of
Isolate variables to make it individuals
easier to examine Suggests behaviour is free and is
determined by our past
Weaknesses Weaknesses
Reductionist Not scientific
Mechanist Cannot be tested
Takes away indiv responsibility No real definition of `free will'
Doesn't account for indiv
differences.…read more


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