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  1. Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt ( / vʊnt /; German: [vʊnt]; 16 August 1832 – 31 August 1920) was a German physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the fathers of modern psychology. Wundt, who distinguished psychology as a science from philosophy and biology, was the first person ever to call himself a psychologist. [1]

  2. Wilhelm Wundt, (born August 16, 1832, Neckarau, near Mannheim, Baden [Germany]—died August 31, 1920, Grossbothen, Germany), German physiologist and psychologist who is generally acknowledged as the founder of experimental psychology. Wundt earned a medical degree at the University of Heidelberg in 1856. After studying briefly with Johannes Müller, he was appointed lecturer in physiology at ...

    • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
    • Biographical Timeline
    • Life & Times
    • Experimental Psychology: Object and Method
    • Wundt’s “Individual Psychology”
    • The Theoretical Framework of Experimental Psychology
    • Völkerpsychologie
    • The Order of Knowledge
    • Conclusion

    Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born on August 16, 1832, in the Germantown of Neckarau, outside of Mannheim, the son of a Lutheran minister(Titchener 1921b: 161). The family moved when Wilhelm was six to thetown of Heidenheim, in central Baden (Boring 1950: 316). By allaccounts, he was a precocious, peculiar boy, schooled mainly by hisfather’s assista...

    3.1 Object

    “The exact description of consciousness [Bewusstsein]is the sole aim of experimental psychology” (cited by Titchener1921b: 164). Wundt identifies “physiological” with“experimental” psychology.[15] Thus, for Wundt, experimental psychology is the unmediated study ofconsciousness, aidedby the experimental protocols of thenatural sciences. Yet this definition involves two contestableassumptions: first, that “consciousness” is susceptible toexperiment (rejected by Kant); second, that psychology, e...

    3.2 Method

    Nevertheless, Wundt repeatedly addresses the objections raised againstthe very possibility of psychological, as opposed to physiological orpsychophysical, experimentation. How are we to subject the mind-bodycomplex to physiological stimulation such that the reactions may begiven a purely psychological interpretation? From the physiologicalpoint of view, experimentation with stimulus and response are notexperiments of sensation, but of externally observable excitations andreactions of nerve an...

    4.1 Sensation

    Wundt, like most early experimental psychologists,[22] concentrated his investigations upon sensation and perception; of allpsychic phenomena, sensation is the most obviously connected to thebody and the physical world (Hearst 1979b: 33). For Wundt, sensationsand our somatic sensory apparatus are especially important for theproject of physiological psychology for the simple reason thatsensations are the “contact points” between the physicaland the psychological (PP I: 1). Sensations(Empfindun...

    4.2 Consciousness

    Psychology finds consciousness to be constituted of three majoract-categories: representation, willing, and feeling; our discussionis limited to the first two. Now while Wundt is forced to speak ofrepresentations and representational acts as distinct, he isnevertheless clear that they are merely different aspects of a singleflowing process. This is his so-called theory of actuality(Aktualitätstheorie) (1911a: 145). Representations arerepresentational acts, never the “objects with constantprop...

    As we have seen (Section 3.2), for Wundt the possibility of a physiological psychology(asopposed to a purely physiological inquiry into sensation, behavior,learning, etc.) depends on the possibility of self-observation.Self-observation, in turn, is of scientific use only if the sequenceof “inner” phenomena of consciousness is assumed to fallunder a...

    Whereas experimental psychology focuses in the first place on theeffects of the physical (outer) upon the psychic (inner), the willingconsciousness is characterized by intervening in the external world,that is, by expressing the internal (PP I:2). This latter feature of consciousness lies beyond the scope ofexperiment, because the origins of consci...

    7.1 Psychology in its relation to the sciences

    As we have seen, Wundt was concerned not only with expanding the setof known psychological facts, but also with interpreting them withinan appropriate explanatory framework. Of course, the necessity ofestablishing such a closed framework distinct from physiology amountedto distinguishing psychological causality from physical causality ingeneral, and hence psychology from the natural sciences altogether.But psychology has to be defined against two other areas of“scientific” (wissenschaftlich)...

    7.2 Psychology and logic

    One aspect of Wundt’s hierarchy of method and knowledge deservesspecial attention, namely the place of logic in the sciences. Likealmost all the similarly titled tomes produced by the Germanmandarins, Wundt’s Logik (in two, later three 600-pagevolumes in four editions) molders away in research libraries. Itscontents are for the most part unrecognizable as “logic”in any contemporary sense. What most philosophers meant by“Logik” in Wundt’s day was the rules andprocedure of inference governing t...

    Wundt’s conception of psychology was always controversial. Atleast in Germany, the struggle over the status and philosophicalmeaning of “consciousness” resulted, on the one hand, inthe exclusion of Wundtian empiricism from philosophy departments,striving to maintain their speculative purity, and, on the other, theinstitutional establishment of expe...

    • Origins
    • Overview
    • Philosophy
    • Criticisms
    • Influences
    • Alumni

    Wundt is bestowed this distinction because of his formation of the world's first experimental psychology lab, which is usually noted as the official start of psychology as a separate and distinct science. By establishing a lab that utilized scientific methods to study the human mind and behavior, Wundt took psychology from a mixture of philosophy a...

    Wilhelm Wundt was a German psychologist who established the very first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. This event is widely recognized as the formal establishment of psychology as a science distinct from biology and philosophy.

    Wundt is often associated with the theoretical perspective known as structuralism, which involves describing the structures that compose the mind. Structuralism is regarded as the very first school of thought in psychology. He believed that psychology was the science of conscious experience and that trained observers could accurately describe thoug...

    However, Wundt made a clear distinction between introspection, which he believed was inaccurate, and internal perception. According to Wundt, internal perception involved a properly trained observer who was aware when a stimulus of interest was introduced. Wundt's process required the observer to be keenly aware and attentive of their thoughts and ...

    While Wundt is typically associated with structuralism, it was actually his student Edward B. Titchener who influenced the structuralist school in America. Many historians believe that Titchener actually misrepresented much of Wundt's original ideas. Instead, Wundt referred to his point of view as volunteerism. While Tichener's structuralism involv...

    Wundt also had many students who later became prominent psychologists, including Edward Titchener, James McKeen Cattell, Charles Spearman, G. Stanley Hall, Charles Judd, and Hugo Munsterberg.

    • Kendra Cherry
  3. By Dr. Saul McLeod, published 2008. Wilhelm Wundt opened the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879. This was the first laboratory dedicated to psychology, and its opening is usually thought of as the beginning of modern psychology. Indeed, Wundt is often regarded as the father of psychology.

  4. Feb 24, 2021 · Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (b. 1832―d. 1920) was a central figure in German culture between the second half of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century. Coming from a medical and neurophysiological background with a PhD in medicine, Wundt shifted his interest toward psychological and philosophical questions, becoming full ...

  5. Wilhelm Wundt was born on August 16, 1832 in Neckarau, Baden. Wilhelm was the fourth child of Maximilian Wundt, a Lutheran minister and Marie Frederike. At four years of age, Wilhelm moved with his family to a small town known as Heidelsheim. From 1851 to 1856, Wundt studied at the University of Tübingen,University of Heidelberg, and the ...

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