Free will vs determinism
Terms in this set (9)
The belief that behaviour is determined by our own free will and that we have full control over our actions. Example - humanistic psychology such as Maslow.
The belief that behaviour is shaped/determined by internal and/or external forces beyond our control, rather than an individual's will to do something. Example - biological approach - neurotransmission.
Point one - hard determinism
- Should only study things that can be observed, recorded and measured - psychology should therefore be scientific.
Skinner - free will is an illusion - we repeat reinforced behaviours.
- Can't generalise to humans
- Not all people respond to reward and punishment e.g re-offenders and bad behaviour in schools
- Pessimistic view
Point two - hard determinism
- Behaviour determined by internal processes and structures such as hormones and neurotransmission.
- Genetic determinism: high concordance rates often found in people who are genetically similar e.g Bartol - 56% in MZ twins and 7% in DZ for anorexia
- More scientific evidence than behaviour but CRs never 100%...
point three - evolutionary psychology
- Link with genetic determinism to explain behaviour through the inheritance of physical and psychological characteristics, which are passed down generations.
- Buss: mating behaviour explained through evolutionary adaptation.
- Mental illness may be determined by our biology also.
- Evolutionary theories undermined as not everyone would like to have children - contraception and homosexuality
point four - determinism is scientific
- Some psychologists argue that science of human behaviour is only possible if a determinist stance is taken
- Freewill makes it impossible to predict human behaviour
- Cause and effect cannot be established
- However, it removes moral responsibility from criminals
point 5 - free will
- Dehumanising and incorrect to say behaviour is determined
- People will not take responsibility for their actions
Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
- Used as a basis for client centred therapies and has the aim of exercising freewill to increase satisfaction
- Humanistic psychologies are very influential in promoting free will
point 6 - soft determinism
- Free will is a more optimistic and moral standpoint, but makes it more difficult to understand behaviours
- Soft determinism instead distinguishes between behaviours that are constrained and more free
E.g - child appologises due to fear of punishment (highly constrained) or genuinely sorry (moderately constrained)
- Can still have cause and effect but difficult to test whether behaviour with an element of choice is constrained or not
- Soft determinism is closest to the trut
- People like to believe we have complete free will as it is more optimistic but not necessarily the truth
- Arguments surrounding soft determinism are unfalsifiable
- Most logical explanation