free will vs determinism


free will

free will is the idea that humans are able to choose their behavior, and can reject biological and environmental influences at will. 

a beleif in free will doesnt deny that biological or environmental factors may influence our behavior, but suggests that we are able to reject these influences and be the masters of our own destiny. 

free will is advocated by the humanistic approach. 

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hard determinism

hard determinism assumes that behavior is caused by events outside of a persons control and that free will is an illusion. 

(sometimes referred to as fatalism)

assumes that everything we do is dictated by internal or external forces which we cant control. 

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soft determinism

suggests behavior is caused by the persons own carachter and conciouse desires. 

it aknowleges that whilst human behavior may have a cause it leaves some room for manouvre in that people have conciose mental control over the way they bahave. 

although determining forces act upon us, it doesnt take away from the rational concious decisions we can make in everday situations. 

first suggested by william james. 

A part of the cognitive approach. 

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biological determinism

suggests behavior is caused by internal biological factors. 

physiological and neurological processes that arent under our consciose control. 

lots of behaviors and charachteristics such as mental disorders are thought to have a genetic basis, research has also demonstrated the effect of hormones - e.g. the role of testosterone in aggressive behavior. 

part of the biological approach. 

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environmental determinism

suggests that bahavior is caused by past experience and  external forces in the environment. 

BF skinner described free will as an "illusion", and argued that all behavior is the result of conditioning. 

our experience of choice is just a sum of reinforcement contingencies that act upon us throughout our lives - although we may beleive that we are acting indipendently, our behavior has been shaped by environmental events as well as agents of socialisation. 

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psychic determinism

suggests behavior is caused by unconcios forces and innate drives - that all we do and say has a cause. 

Freud agreed with skinner in the sense that free will is an "illusion", however placed more emphasis on biological drives and instincts. 

Freud beleived human behavior is formed by unconcios conflicts which are represses in childhood. 

according to Freud there is no such thing as an accident. 

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lab experiments

lab experiments enable researchers to simulate the desired conditions and remove all extraneous variables in attempt to control and predict human behavior. 

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