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Chapter 1

PSYC 15065G Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Edward B. Titchener, Gestalt Psychology, Wilhelm Wundt

Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies
Course Code
PSYC 15065G
Ruth Martin

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Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology
Psychology: study of behavior and mental processes.
Behavior includes actions and reactions (talking, facial expression), whereas,
mental processes is internal activity of our minds.
Wundt believed that the mind was made up of thoughts, experiences and
other basic elements
Objective introspection: process of objectively examining and measuring one
owns thoughts and mental activities
Wundt is known as the “father of psychology” due to his attention to objectivity
and his establishment of the first true experimental laboratory in psychology
Structuralism in North America
Edward Titchener and James Baldwin brought Wundt’s ideas to North
Titchener expanded on Wundt’s ideas and called his new viewpoint as
Structuralism: focus of study on the structure of the mind
Titchener believed every experience could be broken down into its individual
emotions and sensations
He said that introspection could be used on thoughts just as how it can be
used on physical sensations
Structuralism was dominant in early days of psychology, but died out in the
early 1900s
William James and Functionalism
Unlike Wundt and Titchener, James believed that trying to study the
consciousness is like trying to study the wind
Instead, he focused on how the mind allows people to function in real life. He
called this functionalism.
He was heavily influenced by Charles Darwin’s idea of natural selection
In new field of psychology, functionalism offered an alternative view to
Gestalt psychology
Mark Wertheimer objected to structuralism
Felt psychological events could not be broken down and still be understood
“the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”
The word “Gestalt” means an organized whole
Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud
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