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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Notes from Benjafield

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G Cupchik

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Chapter 5 Wundt and His Contemporaries WILHELM WUNDT 1832-1920 -pivotal figure in the history of psychology -he founded the first laboratory in experimental psychology -his laboratory attracted many young scholars Investigations in the Laboratory -Wundt believed that you could discover mental elements through introspection by using introspection combined with the experimental method -he made a distinction between two types of introspection:  self observation: casually engaged by everyone ; open to bias  inner perception: involves deliberately observing one’s own mental processes -wanted to keep his experiments simple so that he could use them over and over again -used a metronome; determined our consciousness is rhythmically disposed -the rhythmic way we experience beats: apperception how we organize and make sense out of our experience -creative synthesis: through apperception, our experience becomes a unified whole and not just a series of elementary sensations The Tridimensional Theory of Feeling -Wundt found that by manipulating the speed of the metronome, you can discover a set of basic feelings -two dimensions: tension-relief and excitement-depression -Wundt believed emotion was a central aspect to all psychological processes -‘the primary source of all experience’ -close relationship between emotion and volition: acts of will The Wundt Curve -relationship between the intensity of a stimulus and its pleasantness -how positive or negative you feel in a particular situation is a function that rises and then falls as stimulus intensity increases (inverted U shape) -Wundt curve implies that we get the most pleasure from moderate levels of stimulus intensity Psychophysical Parallelism -believed it a little differently from Fechner -he said there was not a point-for-point correspondence between every mental event and every event in the nervous system -said physiology treats the person as an object to be understood in the way that other physical objects are understood -then said psychology, by contrast, deals with the experiencing participant and has a ‘universal importance, since all mental values and their development arise from immediately experienced processes of consciousness, and therefore can alone be understood by means of these processes’ Cultural Psychology -the study of those mental products which are created by a community of human life, and are therefore inexplicable in terms merely of individual consciousness, since they presuppose the reciprocal action of many -Wundt rejected the possibility of studying the development of thought by studying the development of children’s thinking -child development is not invariant across cultures, but is a product of the culture within they develop -thus, to
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