- Created by: Rosiem2102
- Created on: 20-03-19 20:58
- Suggests that we are self-determining and free to choose our thoughts and actions.
- Does not deny that there may be biological or environmental forces that exert some influence on our behaviour.
- Implies that we are able to reject these forces as masters of our own destiny.
- Advocated by the humanistic approach.
- Proposes that free will has no place in explaining behaviour
- Hard determinism
- Sometimes referred to as fatalism
- All human behaviour has a cause and it should be possible to identify and describe such causes.
- Compatible with the aims of science - to uncover the causal laws that govern thought and action.
- Always assumes that everything is governed by internal/external forces.
- Soft determinism
- William James was the first to put this idea forward.
- Cognitive approach
- Whilst acknowledging that all human action has a cause, also suggest some room for manoeuvre.
- People have conscious mental control over the way they behave.
- Whilst it may be the job of scientists to explain determining forces, this does not distinct from the freedom we have to make rational, conscious choices.
Other types of determinism
- Biological determinism
- Many processes are not under conscious control.
- Influence of autonomic nervous system during periods of stress and anxiety.
- Behaviours and characteristics of mental disorders thought to have a genetic basis.
- Research demonstrates the effect of hormones on behaviour.
- Influence of environment on biological structures.
- Environmental determinism
- All behaviour is the result of conditioning
- Experience of 'choice' is merely the sum of reinforcement history
- Psychic determinism
- Influence of biological drives and instincts
- Determined and directed by unconscious repressed conflicts
- No such thing as an accident
The case for determinism
P- Consistent with the aims of science.
E- Notion that human behaviour is orderly and obeys laws places equal footing with more established sciences. Development of treatments, therapies and behavioural interventions.
E- Psychotheraputic drug treatment for schizophrenia.
L- Behaviour appears to be determined.
The case against determinism
P- Not consistent with the legal system
E- Offenders held morally accountable for their actions
E- Determinism is unfalsifiable. Basic principle is impossible to be proved wrong.
L- May not be as scientific as it appears.
The case for free will
P- Face validity
E- Everyday experience 'gives the impression' that we are constantly exercising free will.
E- Research suggests that people with internal LOC tend to be more mentally health. (Roberts et al.) Fatalists are at greater risk of depression.
L- Positive impact on mind and behaviour.
The case against free will
P- Contradictory evidence.
E- Neuralogical studies.
E- Libet and Chung Siong et al. have demonstrated that brain activity may predate our knowledge of having madea choice. Brain activity related to whether to press a button with the left or right hand occurs up to 10 seconds before decision.
L- Decided before we are aware.