You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Issues and Debates – The Philosophy of Psychological Approaches

2. Free Will Versus Determinism

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the free will versus determinism debate, focusing in particular on: (i) the legal idea of guilty mind vs guilty act, and how a guilty mind might be determined; (ii) the role of someone’s biology and their environment within this debate; (iii) whether free will truly exists, with a historic tendency to lean towards no, indicating that determinism is the more relevant view to take on people’s actions; (iv) the distinction between hard and soft determinism; (v) psychological research evidence which generally finds support for soft determinism; (vi) the strengths and weaknesses of the deterministic approach.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores psychological approaches with a focus on their philosophical bases. In the first lecture, we think about different philosophical views of psychological approaches, specifically free will, determinism, holism, and reductionism. In the second lecture, we think about the free will vs determinism debate, with a specific focus on the determinism aspect. In the third lecture, we think about free will in some more detail, considering whether it can be shown to exist or not exist. Next, we think about the holism vs reductionism debate and their two perspectives on whether objects and outcomes are a sum of their parts. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about some conclusions and controversies in this field, including an explanation for the verdict of guilt for each of the four individuals given in lecture one.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Dr Bouguettaya’s research interests are in social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health, including how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might take on those issues. Some of Dr Bouguettaya’s recent publications include 'The relationship between gambling advertising and gambling attitudes, intentions and behaviours: a critical and meta-analytic review' (2020) and 'The Effect of a Food Addiction Explanation Model for Weight Control and Obesity on Weight Stigma' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, April 05). Issues and Debates – The Philosophy of Psychological Approaches - Free Will Versus Determinism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, A. "Issues and Debates – The Philosophy of Psychological Approaches – Free Will Versus Determinism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Apr 2022,

Image Credits