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Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920) Chapter 4:

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1 Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920) Chapter 4:

2 Why is Wundt called the father of psychology “father of psychology”? promoted Wundt actively promoted the field of psychology The Founding of Psychology

3 journal in experimental psychology college class textbook Wundt’s Firsts… laboratory (became model for psychology laboratories everywhere) trained a large number of the first generation of psychologists

4 Wundt’s Written Works First to use term “experimental psychology” Offered “proper” methods for psychology Six editions of textbook Discussed problems that were the focus of psychology research for years Examples: reaction time and psychophysics The Founding of Psychology

5 Review of Zeitgeist Mechanism Reductionism Determinism Empiricism

6 Review of Zeitgeist Empiricism: Basic question: How does the mind learn? Before 17 th c. Authorities – Aristotle Dogma – Church After Descartes (and acceptance of empiricism) experimentation observation

7 A poor student, always disliked school Did not get along with classmates, ridiculed by teachers Original goal: Get an MD – work in science and make a living Disliked medicine, switched to physiology Student of Johannes Müller Lab assistant to Helmholtz While working in physiology, conceived of independent, experimental science of psychology Professor of philosophy at Leipzig: 1875 – 1920 Wundt’s life

8 Divided psychology into two parts: experimental social He argued that higher mental processes: Cannot be studied experimentally Are conditioned by language and culture Can be studied using (“unscientific”) methods of sociology and anthropology Wundt’s New Psychology

9 Subject matter of psychology:consciousness Consciousness made of many parts or elements periodic table of the mind Wundt’s New Psychology

10 Sensations Stimulation of a sense organ leads to impulses that reach the brain Classified by intensity duration sense modality Wundt’s New Psychology

11 Sensations: Example of an experiment Dropping ball Wundt’s New Psychology

12 Feelings Subjective reaction to stimuli Occur with sensations, but do not arise directly from a sense organ Emotions = compounds of feeling elements Tridimensional theory of feelings Pleasure/displeasure continuum Tension/relaxation Excitement/depression Wundt’s New Psychology

13 Feelings: Example of an experiment Listening to a metronome Wundt’s New Psychology

14 Wundt’s three goals for psychology Break conscious processes into their basic elements Discover how these elements are organized Determine the laws of connection governing the organization of the elements

15 Immediate experience: consist of sensations or feelings unbiased by interpretation Mediate experience: influenced by past experience “interpretations” of meaning of sensations Wundt’s conclusion: Only Only immediate experiences should be studied Wundt’s New Psychology

16 Is the examination of one’s own mental state, “internal perception” Previously used in psychophysics to study sensation Wundt added precise experimental control over the conditions Introspection

17 Wundt’s four rules Observers must know when the procedure will begin Observers must be “in a state of readiness or strained attention” The observation must be repeatable numerous times The experimental conditions must be varied in terms of control over stimulus manipulation Introspection

18 Voluntarism From “volition” = will Power of the will to organize mental elements into higher-level thought processes Emphasized the activity, not the elements Process is NOT passive

19 process of combining elements into a whole concept, which often leads to emergent qualities Opposite of the passive, mechanical associationism of most of the other British empiricists Precursor to gestalt idea that the whole is different from the sum of its parts Apperception

20 llColor.html Apperception

21 Review of Zeitgeist Mechanism Reductionism Determinism Empiricism

22 The fate of Wundt's psychology in Germany In Germany, psychology remained a subspecialty of philosophy for 20 years Lack of financial support from government In contrast, psychology in the United States grew more rapidly Other economic and political contextual forces Economic collapse of Germany after WWI Financial ruin of German universities Destruction of Wundt's laboratory during WWII bombing

23 Criticisms of Wundtian psychology Disapproval of method of introspection Differences in results obtained by different observers Who is correct? Introspection as a private experience Cannot settle disagreements by repeating the observations in different subjects Other psychologists suggested alternative methods, and succeeded in studying higher cognitive processes

24 Criticisms of Wundtian psychology Wundt’s personal political views Blamed England for starting WWI Viewed the German invasion of Belgium as self- defense Other schools of thought: In Europe, Gestalt psychology and psychoanalysis challenged and outshined Wundt's views In the United States, functionalism and behaviorism overshadowed Wundtian psychology

25 Which theory does Wundt’s work support? Personalistic theory? Naturalistic theory?

26 Wundt’s legacy Rejection of nonscientific thinking Summarized and combined physiology and philosophy Training the first generation of psychologists Severing of ties between psychology and non-modern philosophy Served well in provoking rebellions Considered by many as the “most important psychologist of all time”

27 Looking ahead… Psychology fraught with divisions and controversies from the beginning New ideas appearing other countries Darwin Freud Titchener Germany did not remain the center of psychology

28 Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) Gentleman scientist Read Fechner’s works Studied learning and memory with nonsense syllables

29 Forgetting Curve

30 Structuralism Chapter 5:

31 Introduction Wundt’s experimental psychology was introduced in America by Titchener Titchener claimed to be a loyal disciple of Wundt, but in fact he altered these ideas radically The label “structuralism” can only be applied to Titchener’s work

32 Titchener: Structuralism Opposed Wundt's approach Titchener interested in elements/parts, not “wholes” Much more mechanistic than Wundt His observers were passive, impartial, mechanical instruments recording stimuli

33 Titchener’s Personality Autocratic But also helpful and kind at times

34 “Titchener’s experimentalists” Regular meetings to share research observations and listen to guest speakers no women allowed! Wundt wanted an atmosphere where he could smoke and speak freely without fear of offending anyone Women “too pure to smoke” Refused Christine Ladd-Franklin's request to present her research, which she actively protested for years

35 Titchener actively worked to advance women in psychology Accepted women in his graduate programs 1/3 of the 56 doctorates awarded by him were to women, more than any other contemporary psychologist Advocated for hiring female faculty Margaret Floy Washburn 1 st women to earn doctorate in psychology and Wundt's 1 st doctoral student On the other hand …

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