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Wundt. Voluntarism and Introspection. Voluntarism, not volunteerism. Voluntarism : the power of the will to organize the mind’s content into higher-level thought processes.

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Voluntarism and Introspection

voluntarism not volunteerism
Voluntarism, not volunteerism
  • Voluntarism: the power of the will to organize the mind’s content into higher-level thought processes.
  • An associationist model, from simple elements to larger compounds, but it does not simply progress mechanically, the will has an organizing effect.
the contents of the mind
The contents of the mind
  • Basic immediate experience (ex: the experience of “redness” or “discomfort”)
  • Wundt wanted to catalog all possible basic immediate experiences, and form a “periodical table of elements” as chemistry did.
  • The way to observe consciousness is through the method of introspection.
the method of introspection
The method of introspection
  • Introspection or internal perception (intro = inside, spectare: looking)
  • Observation of simple processes under very careful conditions that can be replicated
  • Observers were extensively trained (10,000 observations before they were considered trained)
the method of mental chronometry
The Method of mental Chronometry
  • Invented by Donders
  • Makes use of reaction time
  • The more complex mental operation takes more time.
elements of conscious experience
Elements of conscious experience
  • Sensations: the result of the stimulation of a sense organ. Classified by:
    • Intensity, duration, sense modality
  • Feelings: the affective tone of a sensation
sensations 1
Sensations (1)
  • General sense:
    • Pressure, heat, cold
  • Sound
    • Simple noise, simple tone
  • Smell and taste
    • Smell: hard to categorize
    • Taste: sour, sweet, bitter, salty
sensations 2
Sensations (2)
  • Light
    • Achromatic (black/white)
    • Chromatic (colors)
      • Dimensions: tone, saturation, brightness
  • Pleasant /unpleasant
  • Excitement/depression
  • Tension/relaxation
psychical compounds
Psychical compounds
  • Ideas (composed of several sensations)
  • Composite feelings (several feelings mixed together)
  • Emotions (typical form in which affective processes occur). Emotions have a temporal quality: beginning, middle, end.
  • Volitions (changes in ideas and feelings that bring an emotion to a close)
general consciousness
General consciousness
  • Interconnects the psychical compounds
  • When connections are broken, unconsciousness or sleep results
  • The process of synthesis is creative, growth oriented, and leading toward the development of opposites
the field of consciousness
The field of consciousness
  • Everything that is in the field of consciousness at one time.
  • Includes:
    • What is subject to apperception, and is perceived clearly
    • What is subject to Apprehension, and is not seen clearly --background material, existing as a potential for apperception.
  • Apperception is a volitional process, i.e. it has to do with the will.
  • It is the will that directs the attention and is at the basis of the creative synthesis that leads to the construction of knowledge
apperception and clinical psychology
Apperception and clinical psychology
  • Projective tests such as the Rorschach and the TAT are based on the concept of apperception.
  • TAT: Thematic Apperception Test
  • Why is it that we perceive reality this or that way?