Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 1: THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOLOGY
I. From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed
A. A New Science is Born: The Contributions of Wundt & Hall
1. “psyche” – soul “logos” – study of (Greek roots)
2. Defined in 16th Century, yet not popular till early 18th century.
3. Born out of philosophy and physiology – movement led by Wilhelm Wundt
a. 1879 – 1st Formal Lab for Psych research, Univ of Leipzig
b. 1881 – Wundt starts 1st psych journal
c. Wundt known as father of psych
d. According to Wundt, psych should be a science. Focus on
consciousness. Psych became the scientific study of conscious
4. Hall, G Stanley – studied briefly with Wundt, contributor to American Psych.
a. Established first American research lab – John Hopkins (1883)
b. Launched American’s 1st Journal (1887)
c. 1892 – Became 1st president of APA.
B. The Battle of the Schools Begins – Structuralism vs. Functionalism.
1. Structuralism – led by English Edward Tichener (studied in the States though)
a. Based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze
consciousness into it’s basic elements and investigate how these
i. Wanted to identify and examine fundamentals of consciousness, like
sensations, feelings, and images.
b. Most work centered around sensation and perception in vision, hearing
c. Relied on “introspection” – careful, systematic, self observation of one’s
own conscious experience.
i. Required training to make subject m ore aware and objective
ii. One trained, exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions, and visual
stimuli under carefully controlled and systematically varied conditions.
Then asked to analyze what they experienced.
2. Functionalism – based on the belief that psychology should investigate the
function/purpose of consciousness, not the structure. Led by American William
a. Author of “Principles of Psych” (1890) – most influential work
b. Believed psych is embedded in network of culture and intellectual
c. Influenced by Darwin, natural selection – heritable characteristics that
provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than
alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations, and
thus become selected over time (i.e. typical characteristics of a species
must serve a purpose.)
d. Argued that consciousness was “flow” of thoughts and structuralists
examined only static points.
e. Less focused on lab, more on “practical” i.e. mental testing,
development in children, effectiveness of education practices,
differences between the sexes.