- Real name: Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt
- Was a German medical doctor, psychologist, physiologist, and professor.
- Widely known as the father of experimental psychology
- Studied at many universities in Germany especially in medicine
- the first one in history to be called a ‘psychologist’
Best Known for:
- 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 the 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.