Wundt Experimental Psychology

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In this essay I will discuss many reasons why Wilhelm Wundt is considered the father of experimental psychology. Topics such as the laboratory of experimental psychology in the University of Leipzig, many influences Wundt had that shaped and guided his work, and the impact his work had on future psychologists and how it helped the development of modern psychology, will be discussed and viewed throughout this essay. There will also be an overview of Wundt’s life and beliefs according to experimental psychology. Scientist whom have come after Wundt and that have studied under him will be mentioned and discussed. An overview on Wundt’s ideas on apperception and introspection will be argued, alongside his many experiments which had
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Wundt considered psychology as an individual science subject apart from others such as biology and philosophy. Wundt was also the first person to call himself a psychologist (Carlson & Heth, 2010). He is globally known as the “father of experimental psychology”. In 1879, he founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This ultimately marked psychology as an independent field of study. Wundt’s importance was mainly due to separating psychology from philosophy. He did this by analysing the workings of the mind in a structured way, with prominence on objective measurement and control.
Wundt had applied himself to write a book called Principles of Physiological Psychology in 1874. This book came to be one of the most important in the history of psychology, as it was the first textbook pertaining to the field of experimental psychology (Lamberti, 1995, pp. 81-86, pp. 114-134). Almost a decade later, Wundt began to form an academic journal for psychological research, Philosophische Studien (from 1881-1902), set up to publish the Institute of Experimental Psychology’s research (Lamberti, 1995). This was also the first academic journal pertaining to the field of experimental psychology.
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Despite many criticisms about Wundt’s work and, although today’s experimental psychologists may use different approaches, have different theories and may possibly not indulge in introspection, the basic spirit has remained unchanged. Wundt’s aid to establish the Leipzig Institute for Experimental Psychology was a significant change to transforming psychology into an independent subject from other sciences. Therefore, that is why Wilhelm Wundt is considered the father of experimental

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