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Free Will and Choice Theory

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posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:49 AM
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I recently discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy (which is basically practical thought therapy that teaches you to rewire how you think in order to overcome many different illnesses such as O.C.D., depression, P.T.S.D., and even A.D.D. for starters) uses some choice theory.


1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
2. All we can give another person is information.
3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
6.. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
7. All we do is behave.
8. All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology
9. All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
10. All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.


Wikipedia: Choice Theory

Notice that, not only is choice theory in the field of psychology, but it is in the field of behaviorism. It totally blows away the idea that we have no control over our own actions, and more than that, it probably works in empirical studies as it is currently being applied.

So. There you have it, psychology does believe in free will! Or at least, it believes that it appears we have free will based on our behavior
I guess we have to see how the mechanics of it work now.

Behaviorism

To be honest, I really do like the field of behaviorism and that is because the field itself is a very humble one - it knows that no one knows enough about the mechanics of how the mind works, and is blowing gas around if they pretend to - so it bypasses the mechanics completely and focuses on the behavior.

For example, my psychology professor (a nuero scientist and behaviorist) once applied to work for an advertising firm. They asked him how he would use behaviorism to determine what ads they should run.

His reply? Well, we try a few different advertisements and see which ones people like more


Wikipedia: Behaviorism

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I like cognitive behavioral therapy as well! Even though it can be one of the scariest types of treatment, because it involves actually changing how one thinks and then changing their behavior from that -

in other words, getting rid of anxiety, for example, involves exposure therapy - if someone is afraid of crowds, they are forced to go out of their way to interact with excessively large crowds once a week.

It is a LOT easier just to take medicines - and SUPER hard to deal with perception changes once something like obsessive-compulsive disorder or P.T.S.D. starts to subside. However, the results are more or less permanent, not as many (if any) medications are needed as time goes on, and it is even effective at treating some extremely nasty disorders such as anti-social personality disorder (psychopathy) and borderline personality disorder.

Wikipedia: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I do have a problem with this kind of therapy, of course, but it's always someone's choice whether or not they want to do it - which is that basically I don't feel as fulfilled without my O.C.D., A.D.D., P.T.S.D. or whatever.

I mean every trait like that has its strengths and weaknesses and it ads to the colorfulness of life to have people of all kinds out there!
Bland and normal people might make effective workers and be free of kinks, but... what about purpose?

I'm rather existentialist as well. This means that life is inherently without purpose. In other words, religion, political party affiliation, etc. are all man-made - but this is good! Because realizing this lets you find you own purpose!

edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:59 AM
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Do you have the choice not to read these words?
Whoops - too late.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


It was a bit complicated, I think everyone has a choice to read the words I wrote or not lol.

In fact, if I were in a less analytic mood I would probably be like "whoa, this is way too dense" and close the page. Because I wanted to. And I was annoyed.

Are you suggesting that you honestly don't think you could have stopped reading if you had wanted to? That sounds rather illogical. It makes me wonder about how many critical thinking skills are being taught these days...


Once you are done reading, you've made your choice already though so... I mean taking it back is kind of harder.

If you are talking about the words you wrote? Well... maybe that was a situation where I was caught off guard! I did read them
Without really thinking about it first.
edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by darkbake
If you are talking about the words you wrote? Well... maybe that was a situation where I was caught off guard! I did read them
Without really thinking about it first.
edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)


Life is like that!!



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by darkbake
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


It was a bit complicated, I think everyone has a choice to read the words I wrote or not lol.

In fact, if I were in a less analytic mood I would probably be like "whoa, this is way too dense" and close the page. Because I wanted to. And I was annoyed.


And would you have had a choice in whether you were in a less analytic mood or not?
Do you choose to feel annoyance?



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Hmm... if I wanted to, I could expend some willpower and get into a more creative mood, sure. Do I choose to feel annoyance? Probably not, actually! That is a super observation - but I could choose my reaction to it, in addition, through taking pre-preemptive measures I could reduce future feelings of annoyance or, if I wanted, even situations that were annoying to me! lol!


I was actually thinking of writing a few more threads on this, as free will exists, it's not always going to be in effect. A lot of what we do is muscle-memory or habit usage.

If we had to name something (like a puppy or hedgehog) every time we came in contact with it, that would be quite annoying, which is why we do it once. And if it turns out the vet was wrong about their gender, we can do it again! etc.
edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 06:57 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 

There is no choice in believing in freewill until it is found to be an illusion.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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I was unaware that psychology removed free choice. Not from where I stand.

In fact I find it the exact opposite. Psychological expansion, the ability to define our thoughts and not simply be dictated to by them, allows choice.

Psychology is an evolving science. It simply cannot be defined by the wise words of people from different eras. Just as human nature is always being experienced, you cannot define it and have a one glove fits all schema.

Unlike medicine, it needs to be intimate and specific. You don't mask problems, nor do you thrust someone into a problem to break their associations with negative emotions.

But if you define and allow your thinking - then you become less inclined to run away from it - you are given a choice. When you're constantly avoiding situations, circumstances, feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, then you're not free to do anything else but avoid them. You run up against a brick wall with the weight of the world behind you. You break. You cease to try, as it's too hard and you feel trapped, suffocated, hopelessness.

Free will is certainly not free. We are motivated by our circumstances. To think otherwise is nonsense. We are motivated by discomfort. We seek comfort. If you're on fire, you move. If you are cold, you seek shelter.

These are not choices we have unless we choose to remain in discomfort. By default, and without conscious effort, we seek comfort.

So the thinking that free will is an illusion has merit, but not when you consider that we choose insignificant things all of the time.

We have, as a species, become so far removed from the natural order of things in our own existence, that we invent gods and spirits to give it some sort of sense. Our brains evolved this amazing ability to think ahead, to prepare, in order to avoid discomfort. That now, we're so confused by it all we don't realise that as animals we're not unique. We still need food, shelter, warmth, water, sex..

Remove humans from the artificial reality we've created for ourselves, we'd be tribal barbarians in no time, making sure my free will is not imposed upon by your free will, and that my comfort remains while you seek to keep yours.


edit on 13-7-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


I agree discomfort seeks comfort.
When one is divided, the experience of life will be uncomfortable. Only when wholeness is realized will there be true comfort.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 



1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
2. All we can give another person is information.
3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
6.. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
7. All we do is behave.
8. All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology
9. All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
10. All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.

I don't understand quite how this arises from the theory of behaviourism, except that it seems to propose, as behaviourists do, that analysing the inner workings of the mind leads nowhere, and we should simply concentrate on their exterior results – that is, on our behaviour.

There are a few different schools of behaviourism, I believe, and there is some disagreement among them whether free will exists or not. It seems to me a theory proposing that all behaviour is nothing but response to stimuli leaves very little room for free will. Can we really choose how we respond to a stimulus? If we could, wouldn't we have to investigate our own mental processes in order to make that choice?

Free will is a tough question, and I don't think an endorsement from one branch of pyschology or another is enough to settle it. Besides, as therapy, 'choice theory' could probably work equally well whether our behaviour was determined or not. It already feels as if we have free will anyway, so what does it matter whether or not this is an illusion? We must (and usually do) behave as if we had free will, whether or not we really do. That seems to be 'choice theory' in a nutshell, and nothing wrong with it, either.


edit on 13/7/13 by Astyanax because: of a nutshell.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 09:08 AM
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I believe that we are programmed both by body suits and by those coding the matrix here, to respond in various ways, but that free will is possible for most people, some have extreme conditions around them, and in their body suits to prevent full expression of will. However, its not in mastery that we excercise this, its by being aware we want to stop the program and buton between the synapses, from expressing the stored behavior or mindset. Its consciously bucking the system, striving to remain conscious, striving to have choice in our behavior. Its the effort or journey, not always the outcome, that is truly free will.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 

Besides, I have a problem with the first two items on that list.

Concerning the first: of course we can and do control other people's behaviour. We start in the cradle, crying to be fed, changed and held, smiling and gurgling to reinforce our carers' affection for us, and so on. We go on doing it all our lives, playing on other people's affections, desires, fears and hatreds, on their compassion, their greed, their sense of duty or grievance or fairness or honour, and sometimes even on their reason, to get them to do what we want. All communications are for the benefit of the sender.

The way we manipulate others is by selecting and modulating the information we offer others so that it is not just information, but motivation. Which, of course, is my problem with the second item on the list.

I used to work in advertising, by the way.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 01:51 PM
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I think there's a war going on in society between those who support free will and those who don't. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I'll choose free will anytime, it's the only way to true happiness in a world where anyone would have to be depressed who looked at it. Unless you have free will and choose to be happy despite all the unfairness. That way you can also be happy without much, not that you can be happy only after you are what society says is successful, which in almost all cases means you have to agree to the unfairness.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Dragonfly79
 

You can't 'choose' free will. We either have it or we don't.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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Baloney! Oscar Meyer!

Google "spirit attachment". Often complete victimization no choice involved.

Darryl Forests
aka as 'forests'



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 



Originally posted by darkbake

1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.



Not true. People control other people's behavior all the time.
They call them names. For example: "You are so selfish, for not doing what I want you to do!"
They give them ultimatums. For example: "If you don't do this for me, then I won't do that for you!"


Originally posted by darkbake


2. All we can give another person is information.


Yes, but information can be given to stimulate (make angry, make happy). Information can be kept hidden in order to control another from their ignorance. Power is the usage of information.


Originally posted by darkbake


3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.


Not "all" of them. There are phobias of things such as water or stoves.


Originally posted by darkbake


4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.


Not if you choose to have some "ME" time. Get away from everyone for a while and think about life. Write poetry or draw.


Originally posted by darkbake


5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.


The past doesn't have "everything" to do with what we are today. It is just an influence. There are many things you can let go of to make your "NOW" (and thus your future) more enjoyable.


Originally posted by darkbake


6.. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.


I wouldn't say "only". Another way to satisfy your needs is to stop exaggerating in your "Quality World" then you wouldn't feel so disappointed and the need to keep longing for your "EXACT" vision.


Originally posted by darkbake


7. All we do is behave.


Can't argue with this. Everything you "do" is behavior. The way you "think" is behavior. Even if you just sit and be still and quiet that is still a form of "behavior".


Originally posted by darkbake


8. All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology


This is a way of dividing to talk about specifics.


Originally posted by darkbake


9. All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components.


We have indirect control over emotions through focus and patterns of thought.



Originally posted by darkbake


10. All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.


Everything is a "verb". Everything is a "doing". Everything is a "happening". Even being still is doing something. You are sitting or laying still as opposed to another action "moving".



posted on Jul, 15 2013 @ 05:14 AM
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Wow, very cool comeback argument on those points. I'm glad to discuss them in detail, as I kind of just glanced over them before. My thoughts:

1. You can control other people's behavior, but thinking of it in this manner is about empowerment, it allows you to control how you handle a situation and relax about controlling others.

2. Oh yeah... information is definitely power more than anything else. I'm scared for when the internet stops working - it is probably the most successful power redistributer in the history of man,

3. Very good examples! Haha!

4. Very true! I believe in me time.

5. I completely agree with you, I even love the word you used, "influenced," because it does influence our present - that is it makes it easier or harder to be a certain way, but not impossible or certain.

6. That is a great point right there. I have been struggling since the economic crisis and solved a lot of issues by re-organizing my expectations and finding more efficient means to an end - for example, yard sales, e-bay, not eating out or drinking soda, CraigsList...

7. :-)

8. It's a decent labeling system, I think.

9. Agreed there... I think tenet 9 needs work though

10. Hmm...
edit on 15-7-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



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