Wilhelm Wundt: A Brief Study Of Psychology

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A Brief Study of Wilhelm Wundt

When discussing the history of psychology, there are a few things that will always be brought up. There are a few people who will be mentioned in nearly every discussion held on the topic. Names like Freud, Jung, Pavlov or Skinner are sure to be talked about at length, but there is an even more important name to remember- Wilhelm Wundt, the “Father of Psychology”. He founded psychology as an academic discipline, established the first laboratory, edited the first journal, and began experimental psychology as a science.
Wilhelm Wundt was born in current-day Mannheim, Germany, in 1832. He initially went to college for a medical degree at the University of Tubingen and the University of Heidelberg, so that he could
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He would work at the university for the next 45 years. In 1879 he established a laboratory which was the first to study psychology experimentally. These studies of his were done via introspection. Wundt claimed that psychology was the study of conscious experience. As such it stands to reason that the method of a scientific psychology has to by necessity involve studies and observations of the conscious experience. However, an experience can only be observed by the person who is experiencing it. It follows then that the studies and observation must naturally involve a degree of introspection, which can be defined as “the examination of one’s own mind to inspect and report on personal thoughts or feelings”. Wundt maintained a strict and precise control over the conditions of introspection, to keep the data reliable. He had a few basic rules for introspection. observers must know when the procedure will begin, observers must be in a state of readiness or strained attention, the observations must be repeatable numerous times, and the experimental conditions must be varied in terms of control over stimulus manipulation (Schultz, …show more content…
Despite his enthusiasm on the subject, the rest of the academic world hardly seemed to care. His work on cultural psychology was in fact largely ignored by the community at large, or at least the American community and people instead gravitated toward his earlier works on physiological psychology. A reason behind the lack of interest in the advent of Wundt’s cultural psychology was the timing of its release. In America at the time a different train of thought was emerging when ran counter to the ideas Wundt was advocating. Also, worth mentioning is by then the people overseas, namely Americans, had gotten rather confident in their own research and saw little need to concern themselves with the studies being performed elsewhere in the

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