PS101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Edward B. Titchener, Attention Span, Scientific Method

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10 Nov 2015
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History of Psychology
-Starts … earliest pages of recorded history
-Starts … when people wondered about human nature and
human behaviour
Psychology’s Beginnings
-Psychology = Philosophy
No unique domain of psychology
Philosophers were the ones arguing about what it was
to be “human”, “alive”, and to “experience things”
The Change
-Who is credited as the founder of Psychology?
Founder of psychology
Wilhelm Wundt, 1879, Leipzeg, Germany
Wilhelm Wundt
-Conducted experiments, but not like today
Questioned experience
Immediate, conscious
Belief that all “experience” could be reduced to basic
elements
-Goal: define/explain the structure of conscious experience
Wilhelm Wundt’s experiments
-So what did they do in their experiments?
Reaction times
Attention span
Perception of visual stimuli, touch and hearing
Two Schools of Thought
1. Structuralism – (Titchener – student of Wundt) own spin in
Wundt’s ideas
-Belief that all “experience” could be reduced to basic
elements
-Could identify the structures (e.g., chemistry water =
H20)
-Used introspection
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