Wertheimer Koffka Khler And Gestalt Psychology
Max Wertheimer , Kurt Koffka , and Wolfgang Köhler were three German psychologists who immigrated to the United States in the early 20th century to escape Nazi Germany. These men are credited with introducing psychologists in the United States to various Gestalt principles. The word Gestalt roughly translates to whole a major emphasis of Gestalt psychology deals with the fact that although a sensory experience can be broken down into individual parts, how those parts relate to each other as a whole is often what the individual responds to in perception. For example, a song may be made up of individual notes played by different instruments, but the real nature of the song is perceived in the combinations of these notes as they form the melody, rhythm, and harmony. In many ways, this particular perspective would have directly contradicted Wundts ideas of structuralism .
Structuralism, Freud, and the Gestalt psychologists were all concerned in one way or another with describing and understanding inner experience. But other researchers had concerns that inner experience could be a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and chose instead to exclusively study behavior, the objectively observable outcome of mental processes.
Scientific Controversies And Criticisms
Like other important psychologists and philosophers, Wundt was subject to ideological criticism, for example by authors of a more Christianity-based psychology, by authors with materialistic and positivistic scientific opinions, or from the point-of-view of philosophy and social theory, as in Leipzig, German Democratic Republic, up to 1990. Wundt was involved in a number of scientific controversies or was responsible for triggering them:
- the Wundt-Zeller controversy about the measurability of awareness processes,
- the Wundt-Meumann controversy about the necessary scope of the scientific principles of applied psychology,
- the Wundt-Bühler controversy about the methodology of the psychology of thought,
- the controversy about the psychology of elemental association and integrative apperception,
- the controversy about empirio-criticism, positivism and critical realism, and
- the controversy about psychologism.
Career In Zurich And Leipzig
In 1875, Wundt was promoted to professor of “Inductive Philosophy” in Zurich, and in 1875, Wundt was made professor of philosophy at the University of Leipzig where Ernst Heinrich Weber and Gustav Theodor Fechner had initiated research on sensory psychology and psychophysics and where two centuries earlier Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had developed his philosophy and theoretical psychology, which strongly influenced Wundt’s intellectual path. Wundt’s admiration for Ernst Heinrich Weber was clear from his memoirs, where he proclaimed that Weber should be regarded as the father of experimental psychology: I would rather call Weber the father of experimental psychologyIt was Weber’s great contribution to think of measuring psychic quantities and of showing the exact relationships between them, to be the first to understand this and carry it out.
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How Can I Apply Psychology To My Life
20 Ways to Use Psychology in Everyday Life
Freud And Psychoanalytic Theory
Perhaps one of the most influential and well-known figures in psychologys history was Sigmund Freud . Freud was an Austrian neurologist who was fascinated by patients suffering from hysteria and neurosis. Hysteria was an ancient diagnosis for disorders, primarily of women with a wide variety of symptoms, including physical symptoms and emotional disturbances, none of which had an apparent physical cause. Freud theorized that many of his patients problems arose from the unconscious mind. In Freuds view, the unconscious mind was a repository of feelings and urges of which we have no awareness. Gaining access to the unconscious, then, was crucial to the successful resolution of the patients problems. According to Freud, the unconscious mind could be accessed through dream analysis, by examinations of the first words that came to peoples minds, and through seemingly innocent slips of the tongue. Psychoanalytic theory focuses on the role of a persons unconscious, as well as early childhood experiences, and this particular perspective dominated clinical psychology for several decades .
Sigmund Freud was a highly influential figure in the history of psychology. One of his many books, A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, shared his ideas about psychoanalytical therapy it was published in 1922.
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Pavlov Watson Skinner And Behaviorism
Early work in the field of behavior was conducted by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov . Pavlov studied a form of learning behavior called a conditioned reflex, in which an animal or human produced a reflex response to a stimulus and, over time, was conditioned to produce the response to a different stimulus that the experimenter associated with the original stimulus. The reflex Pavlov worked with was salivation in response to the presence of food. The salivation reflex could be elicited using a second stimulus, such as a specific sound, that was presented in association with the initial food stimulus several times. Once the response to the second stimulus was learned, the food stimulus could be omitted. Pavlovs classical conditioning is only one form of learning behavior studied by behaviorists.
John B. Watson is known as the father of behaviorism within psychology.
Behaviorism dominated experimental psychology for several decades, and its influence can still be felt today . Behaviorism is largely responsible for establishing psychology as a scientific discipline through its objective methods and especially experimentation. In addition, it is used in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavior modification is commonly used in classroom settings. Behaviorism has also led to research on environmental influences on human behavior.
Who Is The Most Important Psychologist
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Applied Psychology In America
In America, there has always been an interest in the application of psychology to everyday life. Mental testing is an important example. Modern intelligence tests were developed by the French psychologist Alfred Binet . His goal was to develop a test that would identify schoolchildren in need of educational support. His test, which included tasks of reasoning and problem solving, was introduced in the United States by Henry Goddard and later standardized by Lewis Terman at Stanford University. The assessment and meaning of intelligence has fueled debates in American psychology and society for nearly 100 years. Much of this is captured in the nature-nurture debate that raises questions about the relative contributions of heredity and environment in determining intelligence .
Clinical psychology was also an early application of experimental psychology in America. Lightner Witmer received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology with Wilhelm Wundt and returned to the University of Pennsylvania, where he opened a psychological clinic in 1896. Witmer believed that because psychology dealt with the study of sensation and perception, it should be of value in treating children with learning and behavioral problems. He is credited as the founder of both clinical and school psychology .
The Father Of Modern Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt is the man most commonly identified as the father of psychology. Why Wundt? Other people such as Hermann von Helmholtz, Gustav Fechner, and Ernst Weber were involved in early scientific psychology research, so why are they not credited as the father of psychology?
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.
In addition to making psychology a separate science, Wundt also had a number of students who went on to become influential psychologists themselves. Edward B. Titchener was responsible for establishing the school of thought known as structuralism,
James McKeen Cattell became the first professor of psychology in the United States, and G. Stanley Hall established the first experimental psychology lab in the U.S.
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Research On Reception Of His Work
Leipzig was a world-famous centre for the new psychology after 1874. There are various interpretations regarding why Wundt’s influence after the turn of the century, i.e. during his lifetime, rapidly waned and from his position as founding father Wundt became almost an outsider. A survey was conducted on the basis of more than 200 contemporary and later sources: reviews and critiques of his publications , references to Wundt’s work in textbooks on psychology and the history of psychology , biographies, congress reports, praise on his decadal birthdays, obituaries and other texts. A range of scientific controversies were presented in detail. Reasons for the distancing of Wundt and why some of his concepts have fallen into oblivion can be seen in his scientific work, in his philosophical orientation, in his didactics or in the person of Wundt himself:
Maslow Rogers And Humanism
During the early 20th century, American psychology was dominated by behaviorism and psychoanalysis. However, some psychologists were uncomfortable with what they viewed as limited perspectives being so influential to the field. They objected to the pessimism and determinism of Freud. They also disliked the reductionism, or simplifying nature, of behaviorism. Behaviorism is also deterministic at its core, because it sees human behavior as entirely determined by a combination of genetics and environment. Some psychologists began to form their own ideas that emphasized personal control, intentionality, and a true predisposition for good as important for our self-concept and our behavior. Thus, humanism emerged. Humanism is a perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans. Two of the most well-known proponents of humanistic psychology are Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers .
Humanism has been influential to psychology as a whole. Both Maslow and Rogers are well-known names among students of psychology , and their ideas have influenced many scholars. Furthermore, Rogers client-centered approach to therapy is still commonly used in psychotherapeutic settings today
Link to Learning
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Founders Of Experimental Psychology: Wilhelm Wundt And William James
Wilhelm Wundt, acclaimed as the father of experimental psychology, established the first psychological research and teaching laboratory within the Philosophy Department at Leipzig in around 1876 . He regarded his psychology as a branch of philosophy, an attempt to apply the experimental methods of natural science to essentially philosophical problems concerning the nature of mind and its metaphysical status. This view of the subject persisted, in Germany, at least until the Nazi era. Wundt’s research program aimed to investigate the elements of consciousness, and the laws governing the combination of these elements . Although his theoretical system made a place for emotional feelings as one class of element, in practice the main focusof Wundt’s experimentally based research program was on the elements of sensation and their compounding into ideas. As has been the case in the Empiricist philosophical tradition, these ideas were conceived of as, to all intents and purposes, mental images. Indeed, Wundt insists, much in the spirit of Hume, that there is no fundamental difference in kind between the ideas arising directly from perception and memory images. Thus, Wundtian experimental psychology was largely a study of cognitive processes, and, for him , the mental image played essentially the same crucial, representational role in cognition that it had played for most of his philosophical predecessors.
Toward A Functional Psychology
While Titchener and his followers adhered to a structural psychology, others in America were pursuing different approaches. William James, G. Stanley Hall, and James McKeen Cattell were among a group that became identified with functionalism. Influenced by Darwins evolutionary theory, functionalists were interested in the activities of the mindwhat the mind does. An interest in functionalism opened the way for the study of a wide range of approaches, including animal and comparative psychology .
William James is regarded as writing perhaps the most influential and important book in the field of psychology, Principles of Psychology, published in 1890. Opposed to the reductionist ideas of Titchener, James proposed that consciousness is ongoing and continuous it cannot be isolated and reduced to elements. For James, consciousness helped us adapt to our environment in such ways as allowing us to make choices and have personal responsibility over those choices.
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What Is A Laboratory Experiment In Psychology
The laboratory experiment and is commonly used psychology, where experiments are used to measure the effects of sleep loss and alcohol on concentration and reaction time, as well as some more ethically dubious experiments designed to measure the effects of media violence on children and the responses of people to authority figures.
What Did The First Psycho Physiological Experiments Study
He practiced what might be called empirical or experimental philosophy in his attempts to study the mind by measuring the body. Wundt is credited with conducting the first formal experiment in psychology, where he tried to assess the speed of thought by measuring how long it took test subjects to make a judgment.
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Reception By His Contemporaries
The psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin described the pioneering spirit at the new Leipzig Institute in this fashion: “We felt that we were trailblazers entering virgin territory, like creators of a science with undreamt-of prospects. Wundt spent several afternoons every week in his adjacent modest Professorial office, came to see us, advised us and often got involved in the experiments he was also available to us at any time.”
The internal consistency of Wundt’s work from 1862 to 1920, between the main works and within the reworked editions, has repeatedly been discussed and been subject to differing assessments in parts. One could not say that the scientific conception of psychology underwent a fundamental revision of principal ideas and central postulates, though there was gradual development and a change in emphasis. One could consider Wundt’s gradual concurrence with Kant’s position, that conscious processes are not measurable on the basis of self-observation and cannot be mathematically formulated, to be a major divergence. Wundt, however, never claimed that psychology could be advanced through experiment and measurement alone, but had already stressed in 1862 that the development history of the mind and comparative psychology should provide some assistance.
Scientific Psychology Comes To The United States
Wundts version of psychology arrived in America most visibly through the work of Edward Bradford Titchener . A student of Wundts, Titchener brought to America a brand of experimental psychology referred to as structuralism. Structuralists were interested in the contents of the mindwhat the mind is. For Titchener, the general adult mind was the proper focus for the new psychology, and he excluded from study those with mental deficiencies, children, and animals .
Experimental psychology spread rather rapidly throughout North America. By 1900, there were more than 40 laboratories in the United States and Canada . Psychology in America also organized early with the establishment of the American Psychological Association in 1892. Titchener felt that this new organization did not adequately represent the interests of experimental psychology, so, in 1904, he organized a group of colleagues to create what is now known as the Society of Experimental Psychologists . The group met annually to discuss research in experimental psychology. Reflecting the times, women researchers were not invited . It is interesting to note that Titcheners first doctoral student was a woman, Margaret Floy Washburn . Despite many barriers, in 1894, Washburn became the first woman in America to earn a Ph.D. in psychology and, in 1921, only the second woman to be elected president of the American Psychological Association .
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Wundt’s First Psychology Experiment
Chapter 12 endnote 45, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.Some context is:
That is what scientists do: we measure stuff, and then we transform the pattern of numbers into something meaningful by making an inference. This began with the first psychology experiment, which was conducted by Wilhelm Wundt in the late 1800s.
Wilhelm Wundt founded the first psychology laboratory in 1879 at the University of Leipzig. He practiced what might be called empirical or experimental philosophy in his attempts to study the mind by measuring the body.
Wundt is credited with conducting the first formal experiment in psychology, where he tried to assess the speed of thought by measuring how long it took test subjects to make a judgment. He measured the discrepancy between the actual and perceived position of a pendulum swing and inferred that these numbers represented the speed of thought. This might not sound impressive now, but at the time it was a pretty creative idea.
In psychology and neuroscience, it is standard practice to carefully measure physical changes in the body and the brain to make inferences about the mental. This is an example of reverse inference.
Overview Of Wundt’s Work
Wundt was initially a physician and a well-known neurophysiologist before turning to sensory physiology and psychophysics. He was convinced that, for example, the process of spatial perception could not solely be explained on a physiological level, but also involved psychological principles. Wundt founded experimental psychology as a discipline and became a pioneer of cultural psychology. He created a broad research programme in empirical psychology and developed a system of philosophy and ethics from the basic concepts of his psychology bringing together several disciplines in one person.
Wundt’s epistemological position against John Locke and English empiricism was made clear in his book Beiträge zur Theorie der Sinneswahrnehmung published in 1862, by his use of a quotation from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz on the title page:
“Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit in sensu, nisi intellectu ipse.” . Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses, except the intellect itself.
Principles that are not present in sensory impressions can be recognised in human perception and consciousness: logical inferences, categories of thought, the principle of causality, the principle of purpose , the principle of emergence and other epistemological principles.
Wundt’s most important books are:
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