- Slides: 11
Learning Objectives • To evaluate the ideas of determinism • To understand what is meant by the term ‘free will’ THINK ABOUT NOW! In what ways might determinism be similar to the scientific method?
STARTER: How might the following scenarios link to the evaluation of the concept of determinism? • In the war crimes trials of Nazis after the Second World War, many of the defendants said that they were ‘obeying orders’ of an authority • A criminal pleads temporary insanity for committing a violent crime
Introduction: Evaluation (A 02) Points for Determinism • Consider the essay we have been focusing our learning around: ‘Free will is an illusion. What seems to be freely chosen behaviour is really the result of internal and external forces acting upon the individual. ’ Discuss this view. Refer to at least one topic area in your answer. (12 marks) • How could you incorporate the evaluation points within this essay? Structure one of them ready for inclusion using PEEL
Evaluation of Determinism • (+) Compatible with the scientific method because it assumes that all behaviour has a cause and obeys laws. It is predictable and controllable. • (-) Despite being compatible with the scientific methods, determinism, is at the same time unfalsifiable. Determinists state that if a cause cannot be found for a behaviour is it because a cause is yet to be found. • (-) Moral responsibility – if a behaviour is ‘caused’ (internally or externally) then the individual is not responsible. This would mean there is no need for blame / the prison system etc. However, this is incompatible with the concept of responsibility e. g. the ‘obedience alibi’ of WW 2 (link to Milgram and obedience PSYB 2)
Learning Objectives • To evaluate the ideas of determinism • To understand what is meant by the term ‘free will’ Any questions?
Libet (1985): Does Free Will exist? • Libet investigated if brain activity involved in an action began before or after the decision to act e. g. if deciding to move your wrist, does the brain activity required to do this in the motor cortex start to happen before or after you make the ‘conscious’ decision to move your wrist. • Libet re-enactment: http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=IQ 4 nw. TTmcgs • Student explanation: http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=XLFkpr. Zl 7 -I
Libet (1985): full details • Aim: to investigate if the brain activity involved in an action began before or after the decision to act • Method: Ps had to hold out their arms in front of them and then, when ready, flex their wrists. Libet measured: the start of the wristflexing movement (using electrodes on the wrists), the start of ‘readiness to act’ (electrodes on the scalp) the actual decision to flex their wrists (self reported by the participants with reference to a clock face with a revolving spot) • Results: activity in the motor cortex of the brain began half a second before the participant reported the decision to flex their wrists • Conclusion: this suggests that the conscious decision was not the cause of the behaviour (wrist flexing) but a consequence of the brain activity • Evaluation: this was an objective attempt to investigate the existence of ‘free will’. The use of the revolving spot on the clock face has been used in other studies and found to be an accurate measure for timing external stimuli. However, some argue that voluntary wruist action cannot be compared with decision made in everyday life.
What is meant by the term ‘Free Will’ in the Free-will and determinism debate? • You are going to use the ‘D-O-M’ method of note -taking: Ø DUMP Ø ORGANISE Ø MAKE NOTES Hard determinism Soft determinism Evaluation of the concept of free will • This is designed to force you to start to summarise rather than learning the textbook verbatim! Free Will Include things in the call-outs!
Specification Content: Our progress • Free will and determinism; hard determinism and soft determinism; biological, environmental and psychic determinism; the scientific emphasis on causal explanations • Left to cover: where does each of the approaches stand on Free Will and Determinism? • A 3 summary: everything for this debate contained on a single sheet!
D-O-M Review • What are the key points which you made from this activity? • You now have some of the material you might use to argue the other side of the essay: ‘Free will is an illusion. What seems to be freely chosen behaviour is really the result of internal and external forces acting upon the individual. ’ Discuss this view. Refer to at least one topic area in your answer. (12 marks)
Plenary • What do you think: is our behaviour the result of Free Will or Determinism? • Be prepared to justify your answer with your learning so far • HOMEWORK: please ensure you are up to date with all powerpoints – print off from St Marys psyweb.