Wilhelm Wundt


Wilhelm Wundt

Infobox_Scientist
name = Wilhelm Wundt


image_size = 220*226
birth_date = birth date|1832|8|16
birth_place = Neckarau near Mannheim, Grand Duchy of Baden
death_date = death date and age|1920|8|31|1832|8|16 Großbothen near Leipzig, Germany []
residence = Germany
nationality = German
ethnicity =
field = Psychology, Physiology
work_institution = University of Leipzig
alma_mater = University of Heidelberg
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students = Edward B. Titchener, G. Stanley Hall, Oswald Kulpe, Hugo Munsterberg, Vladimir Bekhterev, James McKeen Cattell, Lightner Witmer [ [http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/wundtjames.html Wilhelm Wundt and William James ] ]
known_for = Psychology, Structuralism
prizes =

Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (August 16 1832-August 31 1920) was a German medical doctor, psychologist, physiologist, and professor, known today as one of the founding figures of modern psychology. He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology". [ [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelm-wundt/ Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)] ] [Butler-Bowdon, Tom. [http://books.google.com/books?id=wfjB9Blnk8kC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r#PPA20,M1 "50 Psychology Classics"] , (2007): p. 2.] [http://wilhelmwundt.com/index.htm] In 1879, Wundt founded one of the first formal laboratories for psychological research at the University of Leipzig, and the first journal for psychological research in 1881.

Biography

Formative years

Wundt was born at Neckarau, Baden, as an only child to parents Maximilian Wundt (a Lutheran minister), and his wife Marie Frederike. He studied from 1851 to 1856 at the University of Tübingen, University of Heidelberg, and the University of Berlin. After graduating in medicine from the in Heidelberg (1856), Wundt studied briefly with Johannes Peter Müller, before joining the University's staff, becoming an assistant to the physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz in 1858. There he wrote "Contributions to the Theory of Sense Perception" (1858-62). [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelm-wundt/#LifTim "Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt", in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, section on "Life and Times"] ] He married Sophie Mau while at Heidelberg.It was during this period that Wundt offered the first course ever taught in scientific psychology, all the while stressing the use of experimental methods drawn from the natural sciences, emphasizing the physiological relationship of the brain and the mind. His background in physiology would have a great effect on his approach to the new science of psychology. His lectures on psychology were published as "Lectures on the Mind of Humans and Animals" in 1863. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Physiology at Heidelberg in 1864.

Wundt applied himself to writing a work that came to be one of the most important in the history of psychology, "Principles of Physiological Psychology" in 1874. The "Principles" utilized a system of psychology that sought to investigate the immediate experiences of consciousness, including feelings, emotions, volitions and ideas, mainly explored through introspection, or the self-examination of conscious experience by objective observation of one's consciousness.

Leipzig years

Bypassed in 1871 for the appointment to succeed Helmholtz, Wundt applied himself to writing a work that came to be one of the most important in the history of psychology, "Principles of Physiological Psychology" (1874). The "Principles" advanced a system of psychology that sought to investigate the immediate experiences of consciousness, including sensations, feelings, volitions, apperception, and ideas. In 1879 he took up a position at the University of Leipzig, and set up the first psychological laboratory in the world. Two years later he founded a journal of psychology, "Philosophical Studies".

In 1875 he took up a position at the University of Leipzig. Four years later he set up a psychological laboratory, it is the oldest lab that is still open today. Scholars from all over the world flocked to Wundt's laboratory, including Edward B. Titchener. (Wundt's students would eventually found important psychology laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, and Stanford. He remained in Leipzig until his death, supervising 186 doctoral dissertations in various disciplines. In his later years, Wundt focused on social and cultural psychology, having completed before his death in 1920 his 10-volume masterwork, "Folk Psychology"). [http://wilhelmwundt.com/wilhelm-wundt-psyhology2.php]

Wundt's work and influence on modern psychology

Wundt sought to understand the human mind by identifying the constituent parts of human consciousness, in the same way that a chemical compound is broken into various elements. Thus, Wundt essentially imagined psychology as a science, much like physics or chemistry, in which consciousness is a collection of identifiable parts. Parts of Wundt's system were developed and championed by his one-time student, Titchener, who described his system "Structuralism." Several of Wundt's works, including "Principles of Physiological Psychology" are considered fundamentally important texts in the field of psychology. Though widely recognized as important in the birth and growth of psychology, his influence in psychology today is a subject of debate among experts.

Though Wundt wrote extensively on a variety of subjects, including philosophy, physics, physiology, and of course psychology, the immensity of his collected writings and the 65 year-long duration of his career makes it difficult to identify a single, coherent mode of thought. [ [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelm-wundt/ Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)] ] Wundt is argued by some writers to have been a devout foundationalist, working tirelessly to understand the intricacies of the areas of knowledge he studied to form a coherent, atomistic understanding of the universe. [ [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelm-wundt/ Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) ] ] In recognition of Wundt's work, the American Psychological Association established the "Wilhelm Wundt-William James Award for Exceptional Contributions to Trans-Atlantic Psychology", which recognizes "a significant record of trans-Atlantic research collaboration." [ [http://www.apa.org/apf/wundt.html Wilhelm Wundt-William James Award for Exceptional Contributions to Trans-Atlantic Psychology ] ]

Several of Wundt's students became eminent psychologists in their own right. They include: the German Oswald Külpe (a professor at the University of Würzburg); the Americans James McKeen Cattell (the first professor of psychology in the United States), G. Stanley Hall (the father of the child psychology movement and adolescent developmental theorist, head of Clark University), Charles Hubbard Judd (Director of the School of Education at the University of Chicago), Hugo Münsterberg (who contributed to the development of industrial psychology and taugh at Harvard University), Edward Bradford Titchener (who founded the first psychology laboratory in the United States at Cornell University), Lightner Witmer (founder of the first psychological clinic in his country); the English Charles Spearman (who developed the two-factor theory of intelligence and several important statistical analyses - "see Factor analysis", "Spearman's rank correlation coefficient"); the Romanian Constantin Rădulescu-Motru (Personalist philosopher and head of the Philosophy department at the University of Bucharest).

Wundt's laboratory students called their approach "Ganzheit Psychology" ("holistic psychology") following Wundt's death. Much of Wundt's work was derided mid-century in the United States because of a lack of adequate translations, misrepresentations by certain students, and behaviorism's polemic with the structuralist program. Titchener, a two-year resident of Wundt's lab and one of Wundt's most vocal advocates in the United States, is responsible for several English translations and mistranslations of Wundt's works that supported his own views and approach, which he termed "structuralism" and claimed was wholly consistent with Wundt's position.

Titchener's focus on internal structures of mind was rejected by behaviorists following the ideas of B. F. Skinner; the latter dominated psychological studies in the mid-1900s. Part of this rejection included Wundt, whose work fell into eclipse during this period. In later decades, his actual positions and techniques have seen reconsideration and reassessment by major psychologists.

An optical illusion described by him is called "Wundt illusion".

Notes and references

*cite journal
quotes = no
last=Carpenter
first=Shana K
authorlink=
year=2005
month=Aug
title=Some neglected contributions of Wilhelm Wundt to the psychology of memory.
journal=Psychological reports
volume=97
issue=1
pages=63–73
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pmid = 16279306
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doi=10.2466/PR0.97.5.63-73

*cite journal
quotes = no
last=Steinberg
first=H
authorlink=
year=2001
month=Nov
title= [The psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Wundt and a dedication by his student Emil Kraepelin]
journal=Der Nervenarzt
volume=72
issue=11
pages=884
publisher =
location =
issn =
pmid = 11758098
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*cite journal
quotes = no
last=Ziche
first=P
authorlink=
year=1999
month=
title=Neuroscience in its context. Neuroscience and psychology in the work of Wilhelm Wundt.
journal=Physis; rivista internazionale di storia della scienza
volume=36
issue=2
pages=407–29
publisher =
location =
issn =
pmid = 11640242
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*cite journal
quotes = no
last=Smith
first=R
authorlink=
year=1982
month=Nov
title=Wilhelm Wundt resurrected.
journal=British journal for the history of science
volume=15
issue=51 Pt 3
pages=285–91
publisher =
location =
issn =
pmid = 11611088
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*cite journal
quotes = no
last=Bringmann
first=W G
authorlink=
coauthors=Balance W D, Evans R B
year=1975
month=Jul
title=Wilhelm Wundt 1832-1920: a brief biographical sketch.
journal=Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
volume=11
issue=3
pages=287–97
publisher =
location =
issn =
pmid = 11609842
bibcode =
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id =
url =
language =
format =
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doi=10.1002/1520-6696(197507)11:3<287::AID-JHBS2300110309>3.0.CO;2-L

External links

* [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelm-wundt/ Detailed study by Alan Kim at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
* [http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Wundt/Physio/ Principles of Physiological Psychology]
* [http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Wundt/Outlines/index.htm Outlines of Psychology]
* [http://wilhelmwundt.com/ Wilhelm Wundt - Father of Psychology]
* [http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/people/data?id=per160 Biography and bibliography] in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
*sep entry|wilhelm-wundt

Works online

* "Ethics: An Investigation of the Facts and Laws of the Moral Life". Volume 1. (Tr. Edward B. Titchener "et al".) Second Edition, 1902. [http://books.google.com/books?id=j2sAAAAAMAAJ University of Michigan] .
* "Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology". (Trs. Edward B. Titchener and James E. Creighton.)
**Second Edition, 1896. [http://books.google.com/books?id=BX1ZS4yhgekC Harvard] .
**Fourth Edition, 1907. [http://books.google.com/books?id=82ompkyCIzAC Stanford] ; [http://www.archive.org/details/lecturesonhumana00wundiala UCLA] ; [http://www.archive.org/details/lecturesonhumana00wund University of Illinois] .
* "Outlines of Psychology". (Tr. Charles Hubbard Judd.) Second Edition, 1902. [http://books.google.com/books?id=NtcLAAAAIAAJ Stanford] .
* "Principles of Physiological Psychology". Volume 1. (Tr. Edward B. Titchener.)
**First Edition, 1904. [http://books.google.com/books?id=b48RAAAAYAAJ Harvard] ; [http://books.google.com/books?id=5Kl3s5zU1wUC Lane] ; [http://books.google.com/books?id=p_IMAAAAIAAJ University of Michigan] ; [http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Wundt/Physio/ HTML] .
**Second Edition, 1910. [http://www.archive.org/details/principlesofphys00wundiala UCLA] .


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