Wundt's emotional laws
-M.D., 1856, University of Heidelberg
-Referred to as the “Father of Experimental Psychology” and the “Founder of Modern Psychology”
-Established the world’s first experimental laboratory in psychology, 18 79
-Experimental practices helped move psychology from the domain of philosophy and give psychology validation as a science
-Basic mental activity was labeled by Wundt as “apperception”
-Interest in quantitative measurements led to the development of a scale that later became the foundation for Binet’s scale of intelligence
-“Tridimensional theory of feelings”: feelings classified as pleasant or unpleasant, tense or relaxed, excited or depressed
Wilhelm Wundt Biography (1832-1920)
Best Known For:
* The establishment of the first psychology lab
Birth and Death:
* Born August 16, 1832
* Died August 31, 1920
Contributions to Psychology:
Wilhelm Wundt is best known for establishing the first psychology lab in Liepzig, Germany, generally considered the official beginning of psychology as a field of science separate from philosophy and physiology. In addition to this accomplishment, Wundt also established the psychology journal Philosophical Studies.
Selected Publications by Wundt:
* W. Wundt, (1862) Beiträge zur Theorie der Sinneswahrnehmung.
* W. Wundt, (1893) Vorlesungen über die Menschen und Thierseele.
* W. Wundt, (1900-1920) Völkerpsychologie, 10 volumes.
Biographies of Wundt:
* Blumenthal, Arthur L. (2001) A Wundt Primer: The Operating Characteristics of Consciousness.
* Reiber, Robert W. and Robinson, David K. Wilhelm Wundt in History: The Making of a Scientific Psychology.
The creation of a psychology lab established psychology as a separate field of study with its own methods and questions. His support of experimental psychology also set the stage for behaviorism and many of his experimental methods are still used today.
Wundt also had many students who later became prominent psychologists, including Edward Titchner, James Cattell, Charles Spearman, G. Stanley Hall, Charles Judd, and Hugo Munsterberg.
Wilhelm Wundt graduated from the University of Heidelberg with a degree in medicine. He went on to study briefly with Johannes Muller and later with the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz. His work with these two individuals is thought to contribute to Wundt’s work in experimental psychology. Wundt later wrote Principles of Physiological Psychology (1874) that helped establish experimental procedures in psychological research. After taking a position at the University of Liepzig, Wundt established the first of only two psychology labs in existence at that time. (G. Stanley Hall founded the first American psychology lab at John Hopkins University).
Wundt was associated with the theoretical perspective known as structuralism, which involves describing the structures that compose the mind. He believed that psychology was the science of conscious experience and that trained observers could accurately describe thoughts, feelings, and emotions through a process known as introspection. 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 reactions to the stimulus and involved multiple presentations of the stimulus. Of course, because this process relies on personal interpretation, it is highly subjective. Wundt believed that systematically varying the conditions of the experiment would enhance the generality of the observations.