Scientifically oriented psychologists are willing to assume determinism while studying humans. Although all determinists believe that all behavior is caused, there are different types of determinism. Biological determinism emphasizes the importance of physiological conditions or genetic predisposi- tions in the explanation of behavior. For example, evolutionary psychologists claim that much human behavior, as well as that of nonhuman animals, reflects dispositions inherited from our long evo- lutionary past. Environmental determinism stresses the importance of environmental stimuli as deter- minants of behavior. The following illustrates the type of determinism that places the cause of human behavior in the environment:
Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Behavior theory emphasizes that envi- ronmental events play the key role in determining human behavior. The source of action lies not inside the person, but in rather than physical determinism. Among the psychologists assuming psychical determinism are those who stress the importance of mental events of which we are conscious and those, like Freud, who stress the importance of mental events of which we are not conscious.
Besides accepting some type of determin- ism, scientific psychologists also seek general laws, develop theories, and use empirical observation as their ultimate authority in judging the validity of those theories. Psychology, as it is practiced by these psychologists, is definitely scientific, but not all psychologists agree with their assumptions and methods.