Free will Vs Determinism

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  • Created by: Nadine
  • Created on: 30-05-13 15:32


- Two extreme positions: hard determinism and humanism

- Free will suggests that we all have conscious control/ freedom

- Determinism suggests that we determined by factors beyond our control 

- Soft determinism: behaviours are partially a result of predetermined factorws but are to an extent our free will.

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Biological determinism

- Claims that all behaviours are the result of innate, physiological fators... Think bio approach assumption  = brain

- Research into human genome producing more evidence, e,g, certain genes cause depression

- Doubful that there will be 100% evidence that gentics determine behaviour 

- As twins who share the same genetic material only have 70% chance of both having depression

- Even people with same genes go through different behaviours

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Environmental determinism

- All behaviour is a product of what we have learned from our environment 

- Behvaiourist approach assumption = classical/ operant conditioning

-  For example, we learn phobias from the environment that make us anxious when we said phobia

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Psychic free will

- all behaviours are cotrolled by uncoscious mind 

- psychodynamic approach assumption = Level of consciousness

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Criminal cases

- If we are determined it means that criminals can pass over moral responsibility 

- In a law of court it is accepted that we have free will, unless you are a child or mentally ill

- Altough many psychological theories of moral development present moral thinkins as being determined by internal and external forces

- The behaviourist view is that we behave "morally" because otherwise we are punished, so it does't matter if we are responsible or not what is import is that we are punished for it to prevent it from happening again

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Subjective experience

- Subjective experience supports free will

- Samuel Johnson said " We know the will is free and theres an end to it"

- We may think we have free will because the real reasons for behaviour is hidden from us

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If we were not determined ....

- All psychological research on cause and effect would be wrong 

- It would make social relationships impossible, if we all behaved randomly, how would we hold a conversation? 

- It would make society a difficult place to manage, although some people believe that it already is

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- Debate is questionable, we seem to pick and choose when we want to be determined or not

* To conduct psychological research we say that we are determined

* A symptom of schizophrenia is feelings of being controlled by something or someone else,

which is being determined yet it is a symptom so we are choosing to have free will

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