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Essay on Psychology: Idiomatic and Nomethtic Approach

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This essay will look at the contribution of the free will/determinism debate and the idiographic/nomothetic approach and also how they apply to contemporary psychology.
Free will is known to be connected to moral responsibility. Many ancient thinkers tried to encourage society that humans have control over their decisions and the actions that we perform depend on us. It is believed that actions are not pre-determined and aren’t caused by natural determinism (InformationPhilosopher, [no date]). Free will is “The ability or discretion to choose; free choice: chose to remain behind of my own free will” (The Free Dictionary, 2014). This means that people have the complete free choice to do as they please and make decisions. However, having complete free will would imply that people would make random and unpredictable decisions, something that would be very hard to argue. Determinism is “The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs” (The Free Dictionary, 2014). There are different types of determinism; genetic, environmental, psychic, hard and soft. Genetic determinism looks at how behaviour is determined down to our internal and biological systems. Environmental determinism believes that all behaviours are learned and they can only be determined by the environment. Skinner believed that free will was just an illusion. Psychic determinism looks at how behaviour can be pre-determined by events from early childhood. Hard determinism suggests that social forces outside our control shape everything we do. It was believed that no action can be free if it is determined to occur. Soft determinism is the view that our actio...


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...impact in today’s society. In relation to the idiographic and nomothetic debate, this is also very important in society.



Works Cited

Chalabi, M. (2013). The Sun says 1,200 people have been killed by 'mental patients' – is it true?. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/society/reality-check/2013/oct/07/sun-people-killed-mental-health-true. Last accessed 8th Jan 2014.

The Department of Psychology. (2007). About the Department. Available: http://www.isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k3007&pageid=icb.page19708&pageContentId=icb.pagecontent44003&view=view.do&viewParam_name=allport.html. Last accessed 7th Jan 2014.
The Free Dictionary. (2014). Determinism. Available: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/determinism. Last accessed 9th Jan 2014.
The Free Dictionary. (2014). free will. Available: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/free+will. Last accessed 9th Jan 2014.




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