Wilhelm Wundt In Psychological Research

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In this essay I will discuss three psychologist I believe to be most influential in the psychological field.
Wilhelm Wundt, the first psychologist I shall discuss, contributed to the establishment of psychology being classified as a separate science. He was able to achieve this by, setting up the first psychological laboratory in 1879 in Germany (http://www.simplypsychology.org/wundt.html) with the intention of carrying out experiments in carefully controlled conditions in order to find significant evidence for psychological theories. This action showed that empirical evidence could be obtained from the study of the human mind and body. Furthermore it also encouraged other psychologists to set up their own experimental laboratories for psychology
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Therefore Wundt’s action of setting up the first laboratory had a ripple effect as it encouraged other psychologists to set up experimental laboratories in order for more objective research to be carried out, so that psychology could be regarded as a true science. Setting up the laboratory allowed Wundt to investigate theories of his own, one of them being introspection. This phenomenon is also known as experimental self-examination. This is where an individual will be trained to analyse the contents of their thoughts and feelings in an objective manner in order to identify the structural components of their thoughts and feelings (G. Neil Martin, Neil R. Carlson, William Buskist, Psychology, 2013). Nevertheless, introspection was criticised for a lack of objectivity because the participants were making observations based on their personal interpretations and previous experiences. Even though introspection is no longer a respected and practised theory (http://www.simplypsychology.org/wundt.html), Wundt has made a significant contribution to the field of psychology because he …show more content…
He proposed, there was a more systematic way at explaining our cognitive systems and he defined this as functionalism. An illustration of functionalism is if a bee was to sting your arm, you would feel pain. James defined the pain as being: a result of injury to the body in order to create the assumption that the body is in pain and a sign that the body no longer wants to experience the pain causing event (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/functionalism/). However this theory has been criticised for solely focusing on internal behaviour which is hard to observe therefore it lacks supportive scientific evidence. Moreover it favours the deterministic view that our behaviour is due to our internal factors and tends to ignore the role of free will (http://www.business-science-articles.com/css/psychology/462-structuralism). Subsequently, James proposed the theory of emotion along with physiologist Carl Lange. They suggested that our emotions stem from our physiological reactions to events (William James, What is an emotion?, 1884). For instance feeling anxious could be brought about because it’s an emotional reaction to feeling poorly in public. Therefore explaining that a component of emotion is our reaction to certain stimulus. However this theory was challenged by Walter Cannon and Phillip Bard because they argued, the exclusive reason for the experience of emotion was not a result of physiological

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