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History and Systems of Psychology

STRUCTURALIST SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY:Wilhelm Wundt

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Historyand Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
Lesson 14
STRUCTURALISTSCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
Before the arrival of the Structuralists, psychologywas already being considered as the study of
consciousness. This meant that the entire scope of psychology encompasses the study of man's
consciousness.The distinguishing feature of the Structuralists was that they added further to the definition
of psychology being the study of consciousness; psychology to them wasconcerned with the study of the
structure of consciousness. Therefore, Structuralistsare philosophers/psychologist who definedpsychology
as the study of consciousness. Further,Structuralists also tried to solve the enigma of a definition of
consciousness. It was imperative to give a definition of consciousness in order to substantiate the view
point of psychology being the study of structure of consciousness. Therefore, Structuralists put forward the
viewthat consciousness has a definite structure and it can be defined in terms of its structure. Theconcept
of definite structure was given by this school namedStructuralists.
Thestructuralist school hasmany followers, but two of the very important names who belong to
the Structuralist school of thoughtare Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchner.
WilhelmWundt
WilhelmWundt was born in 1832and died in 1920. Thinking of man evolved with the passage of
time as his surroundings change.Earth shaking events like the industrial revolution hadcaused man to shift
towardsempiricism. As a result of the work of Russians, Sechenov andPavlov on discovering laws of
learning by conditioning, through experimentation; the contributions of Darwin discovering the relationship
betweenpsychology and physicalsciences; and Fechnerdiscovering physical ways to measure psychological
experiences,psychology was defined as the study of consciousness. Psychologyhad finally ceased to be a
merelyspeculative science and wasgradually becoming an experimental science based on facts and logical
conclusionswhich were drawn through carefully conducted experiments andprofound observations.
Butmost of the credit goes to WilhelmWundt who recognized thatpsychologists must adopt a
scientific outlook and adopt experimentation as the methodology, if psychology is to expandand flourish.
As mentioned earlier, by this time, events like the French revolution and the Industrial revolutionhad
changed the outlook of man. Man hadbecome more logical in hisapproach and tried to findreasons for
everything. Therefore, based on these grounds,Wundt based his propositionthat since speculationcould
not be the mode of scientific investigation anymore; therefore, psychology alsohas to adopt the newmode
of investigation if it has to be become a science.
WilhelmWundt is known forestablishing the first psychologylaboratory at Leipzig, Germany, in
the year 1875. This wasone of the greatest leaps in the transition of speculative outlook to the scientific
outlook, facilitated by Wundt.
Wundtdefined psychology as the study of consciousness. He further argued,that if consciousness
exist,which actually does, then it must have a structure. To elaborate his viewpointfurther, he went on to
explain the structure of consciousness. According to him, consciousness could be studied by three things:
·
Experimentation:
Experimentationwas the most important mode of scientific investigation which according to
Wundtwas the need of hour forpsychology to develop. Psychologists therefore, needed to conduct
experimentswhich revealed the true nature of consciousness. In this regard, Pavlovwas known for
hisexperiments that he conducted on dogs to discover the process of learning.
·
Introspection:
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Historyand Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
AlthoughWundt believed that psychologists should adopt a scientific outlook, he didnot reject
introspection as a method of gaining knowledge, because he regardedintrospection as a mean of
lookinginto and understanding the structure of consciousness.
·
Looking at the past history of manthat has shaped hisconsciousness:
Another method of studying the structure of consciousness is by looking at the past history of man.
Darwinwas the first one to give rise to the nature versusnurture controversy. According to him, it
was the environment that shaped the thinking of man, or the way he is brought up. Therefore,
according to Wundt, looking into the past of individuals gave insight into the consciousness of the
individuals.
Wundt himself also conducted someexperiments and based upon them he proposed that consciousness is a
processwhich has threecompartments:
·
Ideas
·
Feelings
·
Emotions
He went on to say that the compartment of feelings can be divided as follows:
·
Pleasant/unpleasant
·
Relaxed/tense
·
Calm/excited
Wundtalso outlined the abnormal states of consciousness. He then went on to elaborate hallucinations,
hypnoticstates and dreams. According to him, all of these abnormal activities of the consciousnessare
causeddue to the break down of attention.
Because of his elaboration of various parts of consciousness, he is classified as a structuralist today. He is
regarded as one of the greatest psychologists of the year and holds a highposition in the history of
psychology.
EdwardBradford Titchner
Edward Bradford Titchner was born in 1867 and died in 1927. He was an English man andpupil of Wundt.
He studied in Germany, and workedall his life in America.
Contributions of Titchner to psychology can be gauged from three things that he tried to do,are:
·
Contents of consciousness
This means that Titchner explained what consciousness is actually composedof. He then went
on to elaborate the contents of consciousness.
·
Combination of these contents
Thesecond contribution of Titchner is that he described the combination of contents of
consciousness which means that, which contentsget together to result in an activity.
·
Connectionsbetween the contents
Thethird contribution of Titchner is that he explained the connection between the contents of
consciousness which means that consciousness is a product of contents being relatedwith each
otherand working together.
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Historyand Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
UnlikeWundt, who gave threemethods to study consciousness, the subject matter of psychology,
Titchnerargued that since the onlyway psychology could be studied was introspectionwhich he defined as
systematicand controlled self observation.
This is where he carried forward the view of his teacher,although he did notemphatically propose
experimentation as the way of understandingconsciousness. Titchner went on to saythat introspection is a
specialmethod of gaining knowledge andunderstanding consciousness andnot everyone could introspect.
This made him train subjects to introspect.
WilhelmWundt, who was a teacher of Titchner, tried to establish a scientific outlook of
psychology. But there was a flaw in Titchner's ideas, which wasthat he took psychology back to the realm
of speculation and moved awayfrom the modern empirical approach.
Wundt is also regarded as a Structuralistbecause he also emphasized on psychology being the study
of consciousness and explained the structure of consciousness and described the content of consciousness.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Methodology, Grading, Course Overview up to Midterm
  2. ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY:Socrates, Plato
  3. GREEK THINKERS:Aristotle, Contiguity, Contrast
  4. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Saint Augustine, Avicenna
  5. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Al-Ghazali, Ibn-Rushd, Averroes
  6. RENAISSANCE:Rene Descartes
  7. ASSOCIATIONISTS:Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
  8. ASSOCIATIONISTS:David Hume, FRENCH REVOLUTION, Denis Diderot
  9. GERMAN CONTRIBUTION:Wilhelm Liebniz, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel
  10. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS
  11. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Ivan Pavlov, Reflex, Acquisition
  12. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Vladimir Bekhterev
  13. IMPACT OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES ON PSYCHOLOGY:Charles Darwin, Gustav Fechner
  14. STRUCTURALIST SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY:Wilhelm Wundt
  15. FUNCTIONALISM:William James, John Dewey
  16. EUROPEAN FUNCTIONALISTS:David Katz, Edgar Rubin, Jean Piaget
  17. BEHAVIORISM:Edward Lee Thorndike, Law of belongingness
  18. BEHAVIORISM:Albert Weiss, Edwin Holt, Learning, Canalization, Walter Hunter
  19. BEHAVIORISM:J.B.Watson
  20. NEO-BEHAVIOURISTS:Clark Hull, Edward Tolman, Edwin Gutherie
  21. NEO-BEHAVIORISTS:B.F. Skinner, Karl Lashley, Donald Hebb, Hobart Mowrer
  22. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Max Wertheimer, Similarity, Proximity, Closure
  23. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Wolfgang Kohler, Kurt Koffka, Edward De Bono
  24. GESTALT SCHOOL AND DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY:Kurt Lewin, DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY
  25. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Leon Vygotsky, Sergei Rubenstein
  26. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Alexei Leontiev, K.M Bykov
  27. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL DISORDERS
  28. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL ILLNESS:Philippe Pinel, Sameul Tuke
  29. SIGMUND FREUD AND THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT:The Superego
  30. SIGMUND FREUD AND PSYCHOANALYTICAL MOVEMENT:Anna Freud
  31. CARL JUNG AND ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  32. JUNG’S ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  33. ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY:Alfred Adler
  34. NEO-FREUDIANS:Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney
  35. NEO-FREUDIANS:Karen Horney, Erich Fromm
  36. ERIKSON and MORENO:J.L. Moreno, Protagonist, Audience, Role playing
  37. HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY:Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Positive Psychology
  38. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT
  39. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:Biological Approaches
  40. ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT:D.L. Rosenhan, R.D. Laing, Aaron Esterson
  41. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD:Frantz Fanon
  42. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD CHINA AND PAKISTAN
  43. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21st CENTURY
  44. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Consumer Psychology
  45. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Sports Psychology, Positive Psychology