Determinism in Psychology

Determinism in Psychology

The doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will.

Loftus study:



December 5, 2012 / 26 Comments / by / in
  • Nice job, if you haven't checked out some of the lectures by Sam Harris on Free Will, you should definitely check them out, as well as his book.

  • Thanks
    Yeah, I've heard about Sam Harris on free will, I will indeed check out his lectures and maybe buy his book if I'm interested.

  • Thanks

  • This really helped for my determinism essay

  • That's good to know, glad I could help.

  • I got sn A+!!!!

  • That's awesome, good job!

  • Just because you can't control a factor does NOT make it arbitrary.

  • No, I know. I never said that those factors were arbitrary because we can't control them. They are arbitrary because they're not determined by anything, they're not dependant on anything and they are, as far as we know, random.

  • I love how specific and simple you've made it. random stimuli -> Input -> processing -> output. none of which being choice.

  • What do you mean by ''factors that are not determined by anything'', could you provide an example? As far as we know, we don't know what they're dependant on, not that ''they're not dependant on anything'', and that's due to our ignorance not randomness. Nice vid tho.

  • Yeah, you are right, a lot of what I suggested was too simplistic, although if I wanted to give a comprehensive explanation as to why people behave in certain ways it would take an hours long video, let alone the years of studying I'd have to do as well. I think the important fact that everything we do is caused by a chain of events or random chance is all that really matters.

  • you are 10x better than my teacher you taught me what we learned in a week. In a 3 minute video !

  • Thank you, that means a lot to me.

  • very concise, nice 🙂

  • well put…

  • Excuse me, but I find your trope that atheists don't believe anything at all disgusting. As an atheist I can tell you that I have many beliefs. Atheists aren't automatons, they are humans and they have beliefs.

  • @fefeman, As a fellow atheist, I'd like to apologize for how I worded this statement.  The reason I said it like that was because I wanted to stress that atheism is not a positive belief but rather it is a rejection of a belief – God.  So when I said "they don't believe in anything", I was just trying to avoid saying "they believe there is no god".  In retrospect, I should have worded this better.  Again, I apologize.  

  • Our Freedom is our freedom and we have to recognize who are we? At one level we are ego and that's what we experience most often that's where we are most often so we must be tolerant of our ego. This is where we are moment to moment more or less. So we begin at intention at the ego level but the traditions are also right, we have to let go. It is the unconscious that has the greater power of processing not the ego "I". "I" the limited ego can only process the known not the unknown. How do you make room for the unknown? First by saying NO to the known. What the ego "I" wills or intends will ALWAYS be what it knows. It's not really free it's constrained by the known. When you have creative insights. It starts with intent, then you stole the unconscious for a "new" answer to your question and it comes as an "ah ha" experience. That's true freedom. This two level processing produces this creative insight. It's comes as a surprise, as a discontinuity. "I" somehow discovered something that was new that is now adding to my ego's repertoire of knowledge. This is the real use of the word freedom. Not the common meaning of freedom, what kind of flavor ice cream do you want? Vanilla or chocolate. Yes, we do have that freedom of course but much more important is creative freedom. Freedom = freedom from the known. There is no true freedom in the known.

  • Psychology must recognize we become a person thru creativity.

  • I believe in free will. It depends how you define consciousness.

    In theory I could come up with a mathematical model of your brain to predict what your next reply will be.

    But that doesn't mean you have no free will. What if your consciousness is the mathematical model I use to make the prediction? In that case, the only reason I can make the prediction is because I'm effectively asking "you" (albeit another manifestation of "you") what your reply will be.

  • I argue on the contrary: that linear events causation is dead along with determinism as shown and falsify in over and over experiments and that our consciousness is a complex computing system using stochastic procedures. I also argue that  our consciousness is a complex system is composed of many different systems that interact and produce emergent properties that are greater than the sum of their parts and cannot be reduced to the properties of the constituent parts.
    Now , back to event causation shown in the video.
    Think about it:for an event causation you need a bearer, called it mind , to fire up neuronal signals "your thoughts" . Thoughts require a mind/a qualia to correlate things/other thoughts , so is question begging or non sequtur to say that event causation exist but agent causation don't.
    Mind finds REASON to act(and giving the input variables you nice shown in the video) by focussing on compelling thoughts or antagonists ones to weighten between the options/thoughts to choose or compute USING STOCHASTIC procedures . Neuroscientists such as Bjoern Brembs and Christof Koch argue that thermodynamically stochastic processes in the brain are the basis of free will, and that even very simple organisms such as flies have a form of free will.
    What I argue is that mind:
    Human brains make choices consciously and subconsciously by real-time evaluation of alternatives in terms of what has been learned previously from other situations and of their anticipated utility. The conscious brain is aware that it is aware of this choice processing and makes decisions in light of such understanding.

    When a given alternative choice is not forced, the conscious mind is aware that it is not obliged to accept any one choice but is "free" to select any one of the available options. Such realisation might even guide many decisions at the subconscious level. In either case, the probable value of each alternative is weighed in neural networks, which collectively reach a "decision" by inhibiting networks that lead to less-favored alternatives. Thus, network activity underlying the preferred choice prevails and leads to a willed action selectively favouring the final choice.

    Clearly, the final choice is directed by neural network activity. What governs that network activity is the activity in other networks, which in turn is governed by stored memories and real-time processing of the current environmental choice contingencies.
    What usually gets left out of free-will discussions is the question of how a brain establishes stored-memory preferences and how it evaluates current contingencies. These functions are surely causal, but what is the cause of the cause? Any given brain can choose within certain limits its learning experiences and what it will store as lasting memory. Those choices in turn are often governed by what a brain has learned about the self-interest value associated with given contingencies. So, in some sense, it is learned values that underlie much of choice behavior. It is the brain that assigns value. The real question is whether values are freely chosen or imposed. Values are largely optional choices. The conscious brain directs the choices that govern value formation and reinforcement. Conscious mind makes these choices in the context of its sense of self.
    ORCH-OR study brings a recent success of Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan (and now at MIT) on quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' in brain neurons upholding Hammeroff-Penrose Orch OR hypothesis.
    So, the premise that is random breaks the presuppose causal deterministic chain that you are interested in.
    The are interesting interpretations of this model , such as non locality of mind:

  • Regarding the video description: The will might also be a causal factor, but importantly, it too is determined.

  • Good vid. Was looking for a simplistic explanation.

  • God dammit it really pisses me off I can not show this video to my class of 8th graders because you write shit.

  • Clear and concise. Well said!

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