Contribution to Psychology

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Jroberts86
Words 1021
Pages 5
Contributing to Psychology
Joseph Roberts
Introduction to Psychology

Structuralism: Psychology has been around for thousands of years, but only formally studied for around the last 130 years. (Coon, Mitterer 2013) There are many people who have and are currently contributing to the advancement of Psychology. Wilhelm Wundt, 1832-1920, is credited with separating psychology from philosophy and also creating the first experimental laboratory. His laboratory would grow from one room to numerous rooms filled with various experiments and the tools required to carry out these experiments. The accumulation of these things is what led to psychology becoming a separate science to be studied. Wilhelm felt this had been reached in the year 1879. (Hothersall, 1984) Wilhelm’s writings are estimated to take a person two and a half years if that person was reading 60 pages a day. (Schultz, 1975) A student of Wilhelm by the name of Edward Titchener would take Wilhelm’s ideas and label them as structuralism. Structuralism used introspection, or “looking inward”, to answer research questions. This method would soon prove to be a poor way to do research as many people see things in many different ways. (Benjafield, 2010)
William James, 1842-1910, would create the term “functionalism”, which would come from James’s interest in how the mind functions to help us adapt to the environment. James created a new field of study as he portrayed functionalism as a completely separate discipline in his first book, Principles of Psychology (1890). James admired Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Darwin felt plants and animals would adapt certain characteristics to help them survive in their environment. Whereas, functionalist shared a similar feeling that the mind, perceptions, habits, and emotions would “evolve” or adapt to survive. Functionalism left a…...

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