I, The Absolute

Archive for September 21st, 2005

Psychological determinism or free will ?

Posted by itheabsolute on September 21, 2005

Today, a classmate made a comment to the other – let me make my choice. Why should any one succumb to peer pressure or social constraints? Why should we approximate our actions to meet others’ expectation? I like it when people exercise free will and feel comfortable about it. I have made at least one big (offbeat) decision in the personal side of my life and have not succumbed to any kind of pressure from anyone. I made the decision not because it was offbeat, but because I felt strongly convinced about it despite the fact that this decision is not acceptable to many people around me. It is my life and I wanted to make my choice. When she made this comment today, I felt good because I knew I had company – there are people here who are willing to be their own.

This week we had a new Prof teaching us the second part of Management of Organization. She has spent much of her time teaching us “psychological determinism”. She showed us videos and gave us many readings, which show that there are two things to which we are slaves.

• Self-fulfilling prophecy=Keep saying that you are good everyday and every hour of life to yourself. Most likely you will become good.

• The phenomenon of “seeing what we want to see” and “hearing what we want to hear” =People make impression / form opinion about people / issues and then pick up only those pieces of information that substantiate their impression / opinion.

Given that there is this strong force of psychological determinism driving our behavior, how correct am I in claiming that I exercise free will. Am I really making my choices?

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