Introduction:

  • Real name: Wilhelm Maximilian WundtWilhelm Wundt Wilhelm Wundt: Biography and Contributions
  • Was a German medical doctor, psychologist, physiologist, and a professor.
  • Widely known as the father of experimental psychology
  • Studied from many universities in Germany specially in medicine
  • the first one in history to be called a ‘psychologist’

Best Known for:

  • Voluntarism
  • Introspection (observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes)
  • Establishment of the first psychology laboratory – he opened a lab in Leipzig, Germany. The opening of this lab was known as the official beginning of psychology as a field of science separate that philosophy and physiology.

Influence and beliefs:

  • Wundt’s revolutionary approach to psychological experimentation moved psychological study from the domain of philosophy and the natural sciences and began to utilize physiological experimental techniques in the laboratory.
  • He pioneered the concept of stating mental events in relation to objectively knowable and measurable stimuli and reactions.
  • Wundt perceived psychology as part of an elaborate philosophy where mind is seen as an activity, not a substance.
  • The basic mental activity was designated by Wundt as ‘apperception’.
  • Introspection became, for Wundt, the primary tool of experimental psychology.
  • In Wundt’s 1893 edition of Physiological Psychology, he published the ‘tridimensional theory of feeling': feelings were classified as pleasant or unpleasant, tense or relaxed, excited or depressed.
  • A feeling could be more than one and/or a combination of many at a particular time.
  • He showed that psychology is a valid experimental science.
  • 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.


2 thoughts on “Wilhelm Wundt: Biography and Contributions

  1. lisa

    Wundt was not involved with structuralism… he is the father of voluntarism. Titchener was the one who created structuralism. They are not the same and have nothing to do with each other. This should be corrected asap.

  2. @lisa

    Duly noted and corrected. However, Titchener’s ideas on how the mind worked were heavily influenced by Wundt’s theory of voluntarism…he was his Doctoral adviser.

    Regardless, thank you!

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