pancakekreps
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Hi all, I'm currently at a b grade for psychology and have been trying to push myself to an A. If you could please read this 16 mark question i attempted and give it a grade + feedback that would be great thanks.





Discuss the free will and determinism debate. (16)



Free will vs determinism.



The free will vs determinism debate is one of the most influential and important debates in psychology. Free will is the notion that we have control and a conscience over our actions. On the other hand determinism suggests that all our behaviors are fixed by either internal or external factors. A hard determinist stance is one that suggests all our actions are completely determined, hence making it more scientific. This is as it suggests there is a cause and effect relationship. Soft determinism is more lenient, and accepts that although behaviors are determined, there is still a sense of free will. The determinist stance has been dissected into even more categories. Biological determinism is the idea that genetic and biological processes are responsible for our actions, such as the effects of hormones (e.g. testosterone leading to more aggressive behavior). Psychic determinism, as pioneered by Freud, is the notion that all our behaviors are a result of childhood experiences, often which have been repressed. He claims even accidents such slips of the tongue can be explained by some form of repressed memory- the power of the unconscious. Environmental determinism states our environment and our surroundings are the main influence on our behavior. Skinner argued that reinforcement contingencies mold our behavior, such as positive or negative reinforcement, or punishment. Classical conditioning is also a key part of environmental determinism- that learnt behaviors are implemented onto our behavior.



An advantage of the determinist stance is that it has had real life applications. For example, biological determinism has led to the cure of OCD and other diseases such as schizophrenia, through establishing a cause and effect with low levels of serotonin, and tackling it by developing drugs that affect the neurotransmitter. This has in turn benefited many people's lives. Furthermore, in such diseases it is almost impossible to ignore the role of determinism, as compulsions and illusions are not there due to free will. This suggests the determinist stance is credible due to its scientific credibility. Despite this, the determinist stance is that it is somewhat unfalsifiable, as it is based on the idea that causes of behavior will always exist. Therefore, it is impossible to disprove or challenge, suggesting determinism may not be as scientific as it seems.



An advantage of the belief in free will is its psychological benefits. The idea that we are in control of our own life and actions, or having an internal locus of control is psychologically refreshing and mentally healthy. Roberts et al demonstrated this by showing how those who held determinist beliefs were more likely to develop depression. This suggests that believing in free will can promote a healthy mindset, as opposed to determinism which in its extreme form can encourage nihilism. Furthermore, the belief we are in control makes cognitive sense- and hence gives the argument more face validity.



A disadvantage of the belief in free will is counter evidence, suggesting determinism may override it. Studies by Lebit and chun sung soo have demonstrated the somewhat insignificant role our consciousness actually plays. Their research shows that even in a task such as picking a button (left or right), the choice is already determined in our minds before we even begin to consider the options. This suggests determinism can play a greater role than free will, at least in certain circumstances such as decision making.



Thanks!
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Andra01
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Hello....Do you still need help?
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pancakekreps
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(Original post by Andra01)
Hello....Do you still need help?
yes please! any tips to improve and what type of grade such an answer will give me would be great thanks.
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Andra01
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Great way to start. However you have not cited your sources. Where you put Roberts et al, you have not included the year. There are several instances where you have incomplete comparisons. Good flow of ideas. Well sized paragraphs. Few grammar/language issues. Weak conclusion. Did you check for similarity? You should also write about what you think of the subject matter as separate from what scholars think; that's the essence of discussing. Otherwise it's a nice attempt.
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Andra01
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All in all, I feel that it is a decent response to the question and with a few improvements you can ace an A grade. Don't hesitate to reach out Incase you have a question. Cheers
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pancakekreps
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(Original post by Andra01)
Great way to start. However you have not cited your sources. Where you put Roberts et al, you have not included the year. There are several instances where you have incomplete comparisons. Good flow of ideas. Well sized paragraphs. Few grammar/language issues. Weak conclusion. Did you check for similarity? You should also write about what you think of the subject matter as separate from what scholars think; that's the essence of discussing. Otherwise it's a nice attempt.
great tips- thanks alot.
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pancakekreps
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(Original post by Andra01)
All in all, I feel that it is a decent response to the question and with a few improvements you can ace an A grade. Don't hesitate to reach out Incase you have a question. Cheers
hi, thanks for the feedback. Is there anything you noticed in particular that could do with some improving?
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Andra01
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(Original post by pancakekreps)
hi, thanks for the feedback. Is there anything you noticed in particular that could do with some improving?
Just the above. Also consider lengthening it a bit. In future I could help you with your essays (Reviewing, Planning and Organizing).
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becca_sneyd
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(Original post by pancakekreps)
great tips- thanks alot.
honestly i don’t think putting the dates in would help, i’ve never put the dates in and i’ve always got a* in psychology. the biggest tip would be to extend some of your evaluation points. for example in the last point you could add a counterpoint that although studies suggest we don’t have free will because we think thoughts before we consciously realise, it could actually be that it just takes a few seconds for a thought to reach consciousness and not that we’re actually controlled by our thoughts. adding counterpoints allows for more nuance and to extend your argument
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nikkiblonsky
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i would like to add their is no cure for ocd, it requires on going management
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