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Flashcards in Free will and determinism Deck (11)
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What is free will?

Assumes that humans are free to choose their behaviour, and that influences can be rejected at will.


What is determinism?

The view that an individuals behaviour is shaped or controlled by internal or external forces rather than an individuals will to do something.


What is hard determinism?

Behaviour is caused by events outside an individuals control and that free will is an illusion.


What is soft determinism?

All behaviour has a cause but there is room for manoeuvre in that people have conscious mental control over their behaviour.


What is biological determinism?

Behaviour is caused by internal, biological factors, e.g. genes or hormones.


What is environmental determinism?

Behaviour is caused by past experience and controlled by external factors in the environment, e.g. reinforcement, punishment.


What is psychic determinism?

Unconscious forces and innate drives control behaviour.


State support for determinism.

- Consistent with the aims of science.
- The notion that human behaviour is orderly and obey s laws places psychology on an equal footing with other more established sciences.
- Value of such research led to the development of treatment, therapies and behavioural interventions.


State a criticism of determinism.

- Hard: that individual choice is not the cause of behaviour but this is not consistent with the legal system which places individuals with moral accountability for their actions.
- Determinism = unfalsifiable.
- Determinism is based on the idea that causes of behaviour will always exist, even though they may not have been found yet so impossible to prove wrong.


State a support for free will.

- Research has suggested that people with an internal LOC tend to be more mentally healthy.
- Roberts study: demonstrated that adolescents with a strong belied that their lives were 'decided' by events outside their control were at significantly greater risk o developing depression.
- Suggests that even if we do not have free will, the fact that we think we do may have a positive impact on mind and behaviour.


State a criticism of free will.

- Neurological studies as a counter-argument.
- Libert and Soon found that the activity related to whether to press a button with the left or right hand occurs in the brain up to 10 seconds before participants reported being consciously aware of making the decision.