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http://www.journalofvision.org/6/12/6/images/fig01.gif. Chapter 4:. Wilhelm Wundt. (1832 – 1920). The Founding of Psychology . Why is Wundt called the “ father of psychology ”? Wundt actively promoted the field of psychology. Wundt’s Firsts…. journal in experimental psychology

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Wilhelm Wundt


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    1. http://www.journalofvision.org/6/12/6/images/fig01.gif Chapter 4: Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920)

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

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

    4. The Founding of Psychology 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

    5. Review of Zeitgeist • Mechanism • Reductionism • Determinism • Empiricism

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

    7. Wundt’s life • 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

    8. Wundt’s New Psychology • 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

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

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

    11. http://images.picsearch.com/is?uEBE0-erhbIueRo6pcjWzi3xIkvb0qOjlYxLmYE6lQEhttp://images.picsearch.com/is?uEBE0-erhbIueRo6pcjWzi3xIkvb0qOjlYxLmYE6lQE Wundt’s New Psychology • Sensations: Example of an experiment • Dropping ball

    12. Wundt’s New Psychology • 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

    13. http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/69/80/22208069.jpghttp://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/69/80/22208069.jpg Wundt’s New Psychology • Feelings: Example of an experiment • Listening to a metronome

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

    16. Introspection • 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

    17. Introspection • 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

    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. Apperception • 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

    20. Apperception http://webvision.med.utah.edu/KallColor.html

    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 http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/aencmed/targets/illus/cha/T629030A.gif

    30. Chapter 5: Structuralism

    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. On the other hand … • 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 1st women to earn doctorate in psychology and Wundt's 1st doctoral student