Free Will and Determinsim

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What is free will?
The idea that an individual is capable of self-determination and that they have control over their own behaviour- not responding to any internal or external pressures
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What is determinsim?
The belief that an individuals behaviour is shaped by internal or external pressures- if this is true behaviour should be predictable
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Are there any approaches that believe in free will?
Humanistic- the rest are determinist
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How did Libet (1980) measure free will/determinism?
Measure ppts brain activity and movement- the time between wishing to act and the actual act (200milliseconds)- suggests that free will is a consciousness of our actions
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However, Trevana and Miller (2009)
The activity might just be readiness rather than a decision
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What are the 3 types of free will?
Subjective experience, self-determining and moral responsibility
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What is a subjective experience?
Most people believe that they have free will (Dr Johnson)- the fact you think you're free is enough BUT just because we think we are free doesn't mean we actually are- behav might be unconscious
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What is self-determining?
People are not bound by their desires BUT choosing between two things might just be an illusion of free will// individualist and collectivist societies
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What is moral reasoning?
Individuals are responsible for their own actions (apart from children and mentally ill) ignoring genetics BUT is moral reasoning influences by internal and external factors?
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What are the 3 types of determinism?
Genetic, biological and scientific determinism
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What is genetic determinism?
Research is determined by genes e.g. alzheimers, intelligence & depression BUT there will never be 100% genetic determinsm- Joseph (2004) & McGuffin (schizo&depression)
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What is scientific determinism?
Events have a cause and effect- psychological research aims to show the causes of behav- allows us to predict it BUT psych might not be a science
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Dennet (2003)
No such thing as total determinism even in physical sciences
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What is biological determinism?
Behaviour is determined by the brain e.g. needing the toilet BUT this doesn't explain complex thinking
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What is chaos theory?
The idea that little things make big changes e.g. if a butterfly beats its wings in Bristol it causes a tornado in Kansas
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How is the free will/determinism debate seen in court?
People held responsible for their own actions of free will- however some have tried to argue that they were genetically predisposed although it is usually rejected
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Westcott (1982)
Students reported feeling free when they were in a situation of little responsibility whereas when given limitations they didn't
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Heather (1976)
Behaviour may be predictable but it's not inevitable- behaviours are chosen by free will but from a limited selection (determinism)
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Card 2

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What is determinsim?

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The belief that an individuals behaviour is shaped by internal or external pressures- if this is true behaviour should be predictable

Card 3

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Are there any approaches that believe in free will?

Back

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Card 4

Front

How did Libet (1980) measure free will/determinism?

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Card 5

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However, Trevana and Miller (2009)

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