Types of Determinism

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  1. What are the assumptions of Biological determinism?
    All behaviour and thought is controlled by biological factors including the controlling role of different parts of the brain on behaviour, the hormonal system, evolutionary forces and genes
  2. Give an example of behaviour determined by the controlling force of different parts of the brain
    Phineas Gage changing his personality after having his frontal lobe damaged
  3. Give an example of behaviour determined by the effects of hormones
    Women getting post natal depression due to high levels of Cortisol
  4. Give an example of behaviour determined by evolutionary forces
    Pulling your had away from a hot object instinctively due to reflex responses acquired through natural selection
  5. Give an example of behaviour determined by the influence of Genes
    Being prone to depression due to an inherited mutation on chromosome 3, causing predisposition to depression
  6. What are the features of Psychic determinism?
    • Humans are biologically determined by inherent instincts of sex and aggression (eros and thanatos) and by repressed conflicts (id, ego and superego), childhood experiences, wishes and memories within the unconscious mind 
    • Mental activity and behaviour are the result of unconscious mental processes
  7. What represents psychic determinism?
    Freud's psychodynamic theory
  8. What aspects of the psychodynamic theory can be said to be deterministic?
    • Human behaviour is dictated by the tripartite personality model and the eros and thanatos dictate human behaviour unconsciously.
    • All behaviour has a cause or a reason for occurring
  9. How does Freud's explanation of personality reject free will?
    • Behaviour is dictated by unconscious desires that we have no control over 
    • These desires are found in the unconscious so cannot be seen
  10. Why does Freud believe that free will is an illusion?
    • Behaviour is caused by factors outside of one's control
    • Whilst someone might think they have full control over their actions, in reality they are being influenced by unconscious desires
  11. What are the features of environmental determinism?
    • Our behaviour occurs because there is a cause in the environment (external determinism)
    • All behaviour is under the control of environmental stimuli and external forces of rewards and punishment
  12. Which approach represents extreme environmental determinism?
    The behaviourist approach
  13. How can the behaviourist approach be said to be a hard deterministic approach?
    • All human behaviour is said to be down to the response to stimuli 
    • Humans have no control over their actions and cannot choose how they respond to a stimulus
  14. How do Skinner's experiments demonstrate that behaviour is controlled by its consequences
    • Conditioning occurred as a result of reinforcement and punishment 
    • Rats performed and repeated tasks when rewarded with food but stopped when punished
  15. Why did Skinner assert that free will is an illusion?
    He maintained that all human behaviour is due to stimulus response and, where one might think they are demonstrating free will, they have been conditioned to act in this way
  16. Rank these approaches from most deterministic to least deterministic:
    Behavioural, Biological, Cognitive, Humanistic , Psychodynamic, Social Learning Theory
    • Biological 
    • Psychodynamic
    • Behaviourist 
    • Cognitive 
    • Social learning theory 
    • Humanistic
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Types of Determinism
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