Describe and evaluate the arguments for and against the existence of determinism in psychology

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The main question asked by psychologists surrounding human beings having control over behaviour is ‘Does our behaviour result from forces over which we have no control or do we have free choice to behave as we wish?’ Determinism is the view that internal or external forces of which they have no control over control an individual’s behaviour. An example of an external force would be parents raising their offspring with certain rewards and punishments. An example of an internal force would be hormones within the body. Determinism is an extremely controversial view and has many arguments surrounding it both for and against. The universal determinism theory suggests that causal laws govern everything and therefore if you knew all of the properties of the universe then you could predict future events including human behaviour. As every event has a cause and human actions are events then surely every human action is caused and determinism must exist. Evidence for determinism can be found in the suggestion that science in general seems to always eventually find a cause for everything. For example Sir Isaac Newton discovering the law for explaining why objects fall. Therefore the cause of all human events will eventually be found that would prove determinism. Also the issue of universal causality is the belief that we all assume in everyday life that everything has a cause and we cannot help believing this. If psychology is the science of human mind and behaviour then the idea of determinism must be used where everything has a definite cause. If determinism is not used then it would lead to the decision that psychology is in fact not a science at all because other sciences such as chemistry and physics all have definite causes for the events that take place. 'A-level Psychology companion' cardwell,

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