• Question: Do you believe that one day we may be able to understand and therefore predict all behaviours, including behaviours within a relationship?

    Asked by Jack to Ben, Sam, Kirsty, Maggi, Rose on 13 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Kirsty Miller

      Kirsty Miller answered on 13 Jun 2017:

      Wow, that’s an excellent question! I think in some ways we might be able to predict behaviour more accurately in the future. With advances in technology, we will probably have computers that can predict behaviour in certain situations (in the way that there are now robots that can answer to basic questions (https://phys.org/news/2017-01-bionic-woman-chinese-robot-charm.html), computers that can play chess etc), but I don’t think we could ever predict everything. For example, it’s very hard to predict our environments – the weather, other people, the amount of sleep we’ve had…. anything really could happen and these events are very hard to predict. When we think about these kinds of things, I don’t think even sophisticated technology would be able to predict them!

    • Photo: Rose Turner

      Rose Turner answered on 17 Jun 2017:

      Great question Jack! I think, theoretically, that this could be possible, though it requires the view that humans can be thought of as a bit similar to computerised robots – involving lots of causal relationships (one thing makes another thing happen). From that perspective, I think it’s possible, though I don’t know that we’ll ever develop that level of technology (think of all the variables it would need to take account of!)
      However, if you don’t think that humans are completely controlled by structural factors (which could be genetic or environmental) but think that we have ‘free-will’ then the argument wouldn’t work. What do you think? 🙂