Free will Vs determinism debate

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  • Free Will and Determinism Debate
    • Biological determinism
      • Instinctive needs; can we choose how much we and when we eat?
      • Controlling of different parts of the brain; we can't control what each part of the brain does or if it works properly.
      • Hormonal system; hormones effect behaviour- we can't control when hormones are released.
      • Evolutionary forces; fight or flight response cannot b controlled- it is instinctive.
      • Genes; we are controlled by genes which are determined at birth.
        • Schizophrenia- Gottesman and Sheilds (1982).
        • Criminal behaviour- Christiansen/ Johannes Lange.
        • Depression- McGuffin et al, (1996).
        • Criminal personality- Eysenck.
    • Psychic determinism
      • Strong inherent instincts of sex and aggression and by represented conflicts, childhood experiences, wishes and memories within the unconscious mind.
      • Causes of behaviour are unconscious so we think we have free will.
      • Behaviour, thoughts and feelings have multiple causes.
      • Over determination
      • E.g. psychosexual stages of development, Little Hans: unresolved Oedipus complex controlled fear of horses.
    • Environmental determinism
      • Behaviour is under control of external stimuli and forces of reward and punishment.
      • External- behaviour occurs because of the environment.
      • Behaviour approach is extreme.
      • Research conducted on animals. Humans are mechanically different.
      • Repetition of behaviour relies on reinforcement or punishment.
      • E.g. Skinner or Pavlov with animals.
      • Bandura with children.
      • Asch- social influence.
      • Adds empiricism.
      • Can predict and control behaviour.
      • Raises question of moral responsibility.
    • Free will
      • Soft determinism: element of free will.
      • Cannot mean rigorous scientific testing.
      • We would need to know the type of behaviour we are suggesting free will affects and how we would measure it.
      • Evidence is mostly subjective.
      • Libet (1985)- found brain activity started half a secod before the person said they decided tocarry out the action.
      • Objective attempt.
    • Evaluation of free will
      • Free will is inconsistent with the assumptions of science.
      • Provides causality.
      • Can't measure something non-physical.
      • Most people feel morally responsible for their own actions.
      • Humanistic approach focusses on free will.
        • PCT allows patient to direct their own lives and treatment.
        • Rejects scientific approach.
        • Partly determined- restricted by physical body.
      • Cognitive and SLT more complex.
        • People select info from environment which determines behaviour e.g. schemas.


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