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What is free will?

This suggests as human beings we are essentially self-determining and free to choose our thoughts and actions

A belief in free will does not deny that there may be biological and environmental forces that exert some influence on our behaviour


What is determinism?

Where a free will has no place in explaining behaviour

There are hard and soft verisions


What is hard determinism?

Suggests that all human behaviour has a cause and in principle it should possible identify and describes these causes

Aims of science


What is soft determinism?

Important feature of cognitive approach

Acknloweding that all human action has a cause

suggest room for maneuvre

people have conscious mental control in the way we behave


What is biological determinism?

The biological approach emphaises the role of biological determinism in behaviour

Physiological and neurlogical brain processes are not under our conscious control


What is environmental determinism?

Our behaviour is shaped by environmental events 


What is psychic determinism?

Free will is an 'illusion'

Human behaviour is determined by unconscious conflicts


What is casual explanations?

Basic principle of science is that every event in the universe has a cause and can be explained through general laws


What is the nature debate?

Expresses all abilities m strengths and weaknesses and characteristic determined by genes

They are inherited by parents 


What is heredity?

 passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another.


What is nurture part of the debate?

Referring the influence of our experiences after we were born

include physical (Enviro) and social


What is the interactionist approach?

Heredity and environment interact


Example of free will

Humanisitc approach


Example of a deterministic approach

e.g aggression

it reduces individual responsibility so they are not responsible for their behaviour due to their upbringing  or recent stressful event


Example of nature/nuture

  • Nativist support the nature for genetic behaviour  e.g depression link with genetic
  • Nuture- Bandura's theory on SLT that children learn aggression by imitation


Example of holism/reductionism


  • Holism allows us to break up any behaviour that is inappropriate as there can only be understood by analysing a person as a whole. Shared as humanistic approach as successful therapy
  • Biological reductionism allows to show the effects of psychoactive drugs on brain to understand neural processes. Help explain serious mental disorders like OCD 



What is idiographic research?

This involves  the study of individuals and unique insights each individual gives us about human behaviour

Qualitative because focus on gaining insights into human behaviour by studying unique individuals rather than numerical data and determining an average characteristic

Focus on quality information rather than quanitiy

Emply methods such as unstructured interview, case studies and thematic analysis


Example of idiographic method

Sigmund Freud uses case studies of his paitents to understand human behaviour, e.g Little Hans

Case containd quotes (recordered by father) and giving Freud's intrpretation

He produce generalisations in case studies - idiographic (drawn from unique indvidiuals)


What is the nomothetic approach?

Involves the study of a large number of people and seeks to make generalisations or develop laws/theroies about their behaviour. Goal is similar to scientific approach

Quantitative research based on numbers-measures of central tendency and disperisions, graphs and statisticsal analysis


Example of a nomothetic approach

Biological potray seeks basic principle of how the body and brain works

This approach mistakenely studied men and assumed the same process would occur in women e.g stress response