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  1. 1. Free Will How many of our behaviours are caused by our deliberate intentions and how many are caused by some internal or external event? http:// = ufkrJkVqems
  2. 2. What have you learned about psychology? <ul><li>Much of what you have studied over the past two years takes the view that behaviour is determined by specific events, either biological or social. </li></ul><ul><li>Determinism also implies that behaviour should therefore be relatively predictable ! </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence is there in crime that criminal behaviour is predictable? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Biological or psychological determinism: <ul><li>Environmental determinism : being determined by factor outside of ourselves (Farrington, Zimbardo, Skinner, who was largely responsible for the Behaviourist perspective, said behaviour was totally environmentally determined)! </li></ul><ul><li>Biological determinism : being determined by factors inside of ourselves (Loftus and Palmer, Gottesman and Shields, Raine) </li></ul>
  4. 4. But what about free will !! <ul><li>The concept of free will is fundamental when explaining human behaviour – our common sense understanding is that we do have free will to choose how to behave! </li></ul><ul><li>Free will seems to be inconsistent with the idea of social or biological determinism. </li></ul><ul><li>The term ‘free’ is taken to mean that a person or their behaviour is independent from the causal determinism of their past! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Free will <ul><li>Free will refers to the idea that people make decisions about the goals they are seeking to achieve! </li></ul><ul><li>Slife and Williams (1995) say free will enables us to choose a path that is inconsistent with our past (consider for example male family members in the Farrington study who did not become criminals) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Free will and accountability <ul><li>The concept of free will is important if we are to be morally responsible for our own actions. </li></ul><ul><li>If our actions are only the product of our past experiences then we cannot be held responsible for our behaviours. The laws in our country therefore imply that we do have free will! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Determinism and approaches <ul><li>Behavioural, biological and even psychodynamic approaches say we are determined by specific factors either internal, external or a mixture of both. </li></ul><ul><li>The Humanistic approach believes humans are however unique and free to plan their own actions and ultimately their own destiny! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Humanistic Psychology Carl Rogers 1974 <ul><li>People are seen as struggling with their lives, to grow and make difficult decisions. As a result of these decisions each of us become unique and so are responsible for our own behaviour. However Humanistic psychology is criticised for not being scientific! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Soft Determinism <ul><li>A middle ground to each of these explanations is soft determinism . Which says that although as humans we do have choices to make and can exercise free will, these choices are often constrained (or determined) by other external or internal factors. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The strengths of a deterministic approach <ul><li>The emphasis on cause and effect means we can understand and interpret the world more easily and this helps us make changes which can have some positive effects. For example ensuring that children from families involved in crime get good support and role models etc. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The strengths of a deterministic approach <ul><li>A deterministic approach is more scientific. It isolates variables and tries to examine them under scientific conditions. Society is then more willing to accept its findings. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Weaknesses of determinism <ul><li>Deterministic explanations are often reductionist (either biological or social). </li></ul><ul><li>Deterministic views are mechanistic which do not appear to relate to everyday experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Deterministic views imply we can predict behaviour – this is mostly not the case </li></ul><ul><li>Deterministic views do not account for anomalies or individual differences </li></ul><ul><li>They leave us with no responsibility for our own actions </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examination questions <ul><li>Explain how a free will view and a deterministic view would explain the findings in Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Describe one piece of research which shows how behaviour might be determined by our environment and one piece of research which shows how behaviour might be determined by our biology (8) </li></ul><ul><li>Using examples from research you have studied discuss the strengths and limitations of using a deterministic approach for understanding human behaviour (12) </li></ul>