2 Possible Exam Questions Outline the determinism vs freewill debate (4) (What does determinism assume? What does freewill assume? What is the debate?)Describe two pieces of research that highlight the debate (8)(one study which supports determinism and one theory/study which supports freewill).Discuss the strengths and limitations of explaining behaviour in a deterministic way (12) (PEC x4).Determinism is a main issue that arises when studying behaviour from the nature and nurture debate. Explain, why using examples of nature/nurture studies (8) (Point, Comment, Evidence, Comment x2)Use one nature study and one nurture study to show how determinism is LINKED to this debate.Discuss how research on determinism/freewill is useful in our understanding of everyday life (8)Determinism is a main issue that arises when studying behaviour from the physiological perspective. Explain, why using examples from any physiological studies (8 marks).
3 What are the assumptions? Determinism assumes that:A person’s actions are controlled by forces outside of their control.These forces can be internal or external.Behaviour is therefore predictable.Behaviour is therefore controllable.A person is therefore not responsible for their own actions.Free will assumes that:A person has control over their behaviour, so in any situation they could decide to act differently.A person is therefore responsible for their own actions.A person’s behaviour is therefore not predictable.
5 Hard Determinism Two key assumptions in hard determinism these are : 1)No action or behaviour is free, therefore there is no such thing as freewill; it is an illusion.2) Every human action has a cause – one action is performed rather than another.EXAMPLE:
6 Biological determinism This is behaviour that is determined by factors inside ourselves.This could be inherited behaviour, inherited through genes.This links in with hard determinismEXAMPLE:
7 Soft DeterminismArgues people’s behaviour is a direct result of the environment.BUT only to a certain extent.There is an element of free will in all behaviour yet it is controlled by outside forces.Behaviour maybe highly constrained by the situation or moderately constrained by the situation.EXAMPLE:
8 Psychological theories and Free will Humanistic approach - believes humans are unique and plan their own actions.Humanists argue that regarding behaviour as determined is dehumanising.Rogers – difficult decisions make us unique.Maslow – hierarchy of needs.
9 What is the debate?The debate is between whether our behaviour is determined (or decided) by factors outside our control e.g. biology such as genes and hormones or situational factors, such as the environment OR whether individuals are free to choose how to behave.
10 Describe two pieces of evidence that are deterministic (8 marks) (Think of 1 AS and 1 A2 study and how they link to this debate)FreudOhman
11 How is determinism linked to…. BehaviouristPsychodynamicBiologicalCognitive
12 Fits in with societies view of individual responsibility. StrengthsWeaknessesFree willFits in with societies view of individual responsibility.Emphasis on the individual.Suggests behaviour is free and undetermined by our pastMeans that behaviour cannot be predicted or objectively measuredThe concept of free will may be culturally relative.Cannot be tested- free will can be situational.UnscientificNo clear definition of the term ‘free willDeterminismDeterministic approach is more scientific. It isolates variables and tries to examine them under scientific conditions. Society is then more willing to accept these findings.Emphasis on cause and effect= make the world more understandable and predictable= could be worthwhile in trying to change certain things in societyDeterministic views imply we can predict behaviour – this is mostly not the caseDeterministic views do not account for anomalies or individual differencesLeaves us with no responsibility for our own actionsReductionistGeneral evaluationIt is difficult to separate whether human behaviour is caused by freewill/determinism as sometimes it is a combination of both.Both viewpoints on its own are reductionist as they limit behaviour to one explanation.The freewill/determinism debate is reductionist in that the freewill debate says all behaviour is determined by the individual in control of their behaviour whereas the deterministic debate says that our surroundings and or biology can determine our behaviour and development.
13 Essay planning task:Don’t forget your counterargument
14 Here are some possibilities: The structure should be PCEC 12 Mark QuestionHere are some possibilities:What are the strengths and weaknesses of the freewill/determinism debate? (12 marks)What are the strengths and weaknesses of explaining behaviour from a freewill viewpoint? (12 marks)What are the strengths and weaknesses of explaining behaviour from a deterministic viewpoint? (12 marks)You need 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses with EVIDENCE.The structure should be PCEC
15 What are the strengths of a deterministic approach? A deterministic approach emphasises cause & effect which can help us understand and interpret the world more easily.CThis is a strength because…E
16 What are the weaknesses of a deterministic approach? Deterministic explanations are reductionist as they reduce complex human behaviour down to simple explanations.CThis is a weakness because…E
17 What are the strengths of a deterministic approach? A deterministic approach is more scientific. It isolates variables and tries to examine them under scientific conditions. Society is then more willing to accept these findings.CThis is a strength because…E
18 What are the weaknesses of a deterministic approach? This is a weakness because…E
20 Discuss whether deterministic explanations are useful in our everyday life (8 marks) Point: The deterministic approach helps to look at cause and effect within studies which can then lead to suitable practical applications such as therapies for the individuals.Comment:Evidence:
21 Discuss whether deterministic explanations are not useful in our everyday life (8 marks) Point: Deterministic explanations can lead to ethical problems as behaviour is assumed to be outside the control of the individual. This has implications as to how the individual explains the crime he/she has committed.Comment:Evidence:
22 A possible ‘out of the box’ question can come up in Section B e. g A possible ‘out of the box’ question can come up in Section B e.g. Determinism is a main issue that arises when studying behaviour from the physiological perspective. Explain why, using examples from any physiological studies (8 marks).You need to mention a range of physiological studies from both AS and A2 and show how they link to determinism.POINTEVIDENCECOMMENTX 2Why is it important to include AS and A2 studies? This paper is synoptic, therefore you must demonstrate knowledge from throughout the whole course and including both ensures this.
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