• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Using a psychological framework, explain what is meant by free will and determinism.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using a psychological framework, explain what is meant by free will and determinism. The discussion over free will vs. determinism started thousands of years ago and has been one of the longest debates in history, still going on today. In the 16th century everyone believed that they had no choice in life and that god and the church decided everything. Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, a Dutch philosopher, disagreed with this idea and argued against Martin Luther who delivered this message, as the spokesperson of the church. Erasmus was one of the first to contradict this idea with the concept of Free will, which is that you have a free choice of how to behave. This debate has been going on for centuries and it will go on even longer in the future. Free will is the concept that we can freely and actively have a choice, without outside factors and circumstances having an impact on your decisions. Those who believe in free will, for example humanists, discuss that even though our decisions are affected by the internal and external circumstances, do choose to act as they do. ...read more.

Middle

It defines the differences as behavior impacted highly by other circumstances and behavior influenced only slightly. Free will and determinism are two concepts on completely opposite ends of the spectrum, making them opposite. However, both ideas lead to the better understanding of behavior, where one claims to accurately predict behavior while the other believes it is up the human's will. Some might say that free will can never let psychologists understand behavior, since it is completely random. Determinists are convinced you cannot predict behavior using the concept of free will since you cannot test it. You can easily make a prediction but there is no accurate way to justify it. If you were to say committing suicide was free will, determinists might say that this might have been caused by depression or mental issues, or any other sorts of pressure from environmental, political, physical and sociological factors. Most psychologists agree that your history, your experiences and your surroundings have impacted your behavior. Your personality, which is an internal factor, has been formed and shaped through your past experiences. ...read more.

Conclusion

You can never be sure which one it is and so it becomes very difficult for doctors or police investigators, for example, to make these decisions, upon which the criminal might go to prison. A strength in determinism is that you can make predictions and test them to a certain extent. You can use the experimental method to make a prediction that a certain factor causes a certain behavior, and then test it. However this might sound easier than it is because we only have very little knowledge of these external and internal factors (Eysenck 34) and therefore it is almost impossible to accurately predict human behavior with this method. Altogether, free will and determinism are two very different ideas, with several limitations and strengths to each. Free will is, commonly, what people would like to believe, but because it doesn't make so much sense the second idea seems to present us with more predictable theories, and testability. However these don't always prove accurate either, which leaves the sub concepts like soft determinism which includes the ideas of both. The debate will always come up with new arguments to defeat the other, and we wont see it end in the near future. Shari Mahrdt Psychology LAQ 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. Examine the Concepts of Normality & Abnormality

    are genuinely cases of disorder - or as it would have been known in the early 20th century, as "without cause" and "with cause" - was the most important task of a psychiatrist. Over-diagnosis has just as much ill-effect on the patient as under-diagnosis.

  2. Psychology Internal Assessment

    * The group number, participant number and photograph number were recorded on the survey. * The next photograph in the group series was placed on the desk based on which participant was to come out next. * The participant completed the survey.

  1. Social Facilitation Internal Assessment

    One graph is usually sufficient. Computers can create many different graphs, but candidates should be advised against producing irrelevant graphs. Candidates must not include graphs that show each individual participant's score. Discussion In Triplett's study of social facilitation, his results showed that the bikers he tested performed better in a group than when they were alone.

  2. The Basic Mechanisms of Homeostasis Overview of homeostasis The term homeostasis was ...

    The article was written to promote relations between all parties, therefore it was keen to stress positive efforts being made by the media. Therefore, in general it was unbiased with respect to sociological analysis of media theory. 3.6 'Study of the 1940 US Presidential Election Campaign', Lazarsfeld et al. (1945)

  1. This essay will examine the various arguments that are brought up pro and against ...

    Not everybody has the same capacity when born. Some of us do well, achieve better scores at school and go to universities, while others don't. These can be called innate abilities, innate qualities and are qualities that we are born with. Mozart started to compose his extraordinary music at the age of 5; few of us can do that.

  2. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah--A Psychological Analysis ...

    After reading this true story, I feel I have a better understanding of the topic. I am truly inspired my Ishmael?s courage, resilience, and desire to live. Ishmael?s culture is rooted deeply in storytelling and this is evident in the literary force that this book is written.

  1. Examine/ discuss the concepts of normality and abnormality

    The hospital itself imposes a special environment in which the meaning of behaviour can easily be misunderstood. The environment seems to counter-therapeutic (powerlessness, depersonalization, segregation, mortification and self-labeling) Failure to detect sanity during the course of hospitalization may be due to the fact that the doctors were showing a strong

  2. Where does Schizophrenia Lie in the Spectrum of Nature vs Nurture?

    However, not all schizophrenics come to terms that there is something wrong with them. Some schizophrenics are in denial and may not admit. This leads to them possibly experiencing schizophrenic episodes and other symptoms that a schizophrenic has. Evident symptoms associated with this phase include delusions, hallucinations, distortions in thinking, and disturbances in behavior and feeling.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work