Freedom-Determinism Debate Essay

1731 Words Apr 24th, 2005 7 Pages
The controversy between freewill and determinism has been argued about for years. Freewill is defined as the belief that our behaviour is under our own control and do not act in response to any internal or external factors. Freewill has been found to have four different conditions and to have freewill at least two conditions must be obtained, these are; people have a choice on their actions, have not been coerced by anything or anyone, have full voluntary and deliberate control of what they do. One example of freewill in psychology is Humanism. The humanists are in favour of freewill as they believe that humans aren't ever determined to behave in a certain way.

According to Maslow (1950) we all strive for self-actualisation, which is
…show more content…
It supports the belief that whilst the environment is an important determinant of behaviour, in turn, behaviour is also a determinant of the environment hence the name, reciprocal determinism. This neo-behaviourist approach acknowledges the fact that humans tend to seek out certain behaviours which they find stimulating rather than just responding to environmental stimuli and as a result accounts for a certain degree of freewill.
According to Byrne (1970) who produced the Reinforcement Affect Theory, relationships are formed and determined when one person reinforces the other person directly i.e. operant conditioning. This supports the deterministic view of the debate, as forming relationships are determined by rewards and not by own freewill. Behaviourism therapy on controlling peoples behaviours such as phobic people has been successful, however unethical.
One argument in favour of this deterministic approach in psychology is that it enables the scientific study of human behaviour. Scientific psychology involves manipulating one variable (IV) to see how this determines behaviour (DV). For the behaviourists predicting and controlling behaviour in this way is the ultimate goal of psychology.
If hard determinism is correct, then, there can be no freedom in the sense required for morality and there is no point in punishing or blaming those who do "wrong," since they cannot help it. However, the hard determinist does not think these

Related Documents