PSYB4 Debates - Determinism vs Free will.

The debate between Determinism and free will with examples.

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  • Created by: Jasmine
  • Created on: 02-02-12 20:38

Hard determinism - Approaches that don't take free will into consideration and believe that people behave in a particular way due to internal (psychic/biology) or external (environmental) forces such as;

Biological determinism (Biopsychology) - Gender is caused by paired chromosomes and sex hormones - the environment doesn't have any effect in this process.

Environmental determinism (Behaviourism) - People behave in a particular way due to modelling and reinforcement - the idea of reinforcement can be shown through behaviour modification techniques (operant conditioning - token economy). Psychic forces and biology does not effect this.

Psychic determinism (Psychodynamic) - Children develop their gender due to the Psychosexual stages (Oedipus complex & Elektra complex) the environment does not effect this.

Soft determinism - This is the idea that an approach not only takes a deterministic approach to a subject but also takes free will into consideration.

An example of soft determinism is the Social learning theory approach which takes a deterministic view yet considers free will and accepts the fact that people can choose if they should behave in a particular way.

Free will - This is when an approach believes that people aren't controlled by either external or internal forces but that they are open to choices and they can decide what ever they want to do.

Humanism is a good example of free will as it doesn't take a deterministic view at all. The approach believes that free will is everything. Nothing controls people apart from what they think and want to do.

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