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Free will and determinism

The extent to which our behaviour is the result of forces over which we have no control over that people are able to decide for themselves at all behave in a certain way


Determinism ao1

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


hard determinism ao1

Implies that free will is not possible as our behaviour is always caused by internal or external events beyond our control


soft determinism ao1

All events including human behaviour have causes but behaviour can also be determined by a conscious choices in the absence of coercion


biological determinism ao1

The belief that behaviour is caused by biological influences that we cannot control such as genetic hormonal or evolutionary


Environmental determinism ao1

The belief that behaviour is caused by features of the environment such as systems of reward and punishment that we cannot control
-skinner and freud describe free will as an illusion and argued that all behaviour is the result of conditioning


Psychic determinism ao1

The belief that behaviour is caused by unconscious conflicts that we cannot control
-freud sees human behaviour as determined and directed by unconscious conflicts repressed in childhood


Free will ao1

The notion that humans can make choices and are not determined by biological or external forces


determinism (for) ao3

-Scientific approach is valuable, The prediction and control of human behaviour has led to the development of treatments therapies and behavioural interventions that have benefitted many eg drug treatment in schizophrenia
-No one would choose to have schizophrenia for example which casts doubt on the idea of free will


determinism (against) ao3

-Is inconsistent with the way in which our legal system operates in a court of law offenders are held morally accountable for their actions
-Unfalsifiable- based on the idea that cause of an event will always exist even though one may not be found, this suggests that deterministic approach to human behaviour may not be as scientific as it first appears


free will (for) ao3

-Everyday experience suggest free choice-gives face validity to the concept of free will
-Promotes well-being, having an internal locus of control (Believing you have a high degree of influence over events and your own behaviour)
-Roberts 2000- adolescents with a strong belief in fatalism that their lives we decided by an event outside of their control were significantly greater risk of developing depression


free will (against) ao3

-neurological evidence from Libet (1985) Researchers found that activity related to whether to press a button with their left or right hand occurs in the brain up to 10 seconds before participants reported being consciously aware of making such a decision
-Suggests that even our most basic experiences of free well are decided and determined by our brain before we become aware of them


a compromise ao3

And interactionist approach may provide us with the best compromise, approaches in psychology that have a cognitive element such as social learning theory are those which tend to adopt a soft determinist approach