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On History of Phychology - Essay Example

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This paper reviews many different aspects of the history of psychology. It reviews introspection and its use in Wundt's studies and its inappropriate linkage with structuralism. Evolutionary theory and its relationship to comparative psychology. It also compares Freud and his theories with those of Wundt and James…
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On History of Phychology

Thus hailed the father of experimental psychology.
Wundt's major interests lied in discovering the components of consciousness, how these components interacted to form an experience and elaborating the resultant experience in observable terms. Such pursuits led him to conclude that consciousness was not simply a static state of mind composed of several elements, but a functional component causing much activity of the mind. This he referred to as the principle of actuality and asserted, was the core matter to understanding psychology (3).
Wundt's protocol was experimental and defined psychological experiences through physiological reactions. He endorsed the idea of psychophysical parallelism that every physical event was produced as a result of mental activity and in turn every mental could be expressed by physical response produced. And so it was possible to import experiments of the natural sciences for measuring the function of consciousness. He therefore, introduced his very popular method of experimental introspection or self observation (4, 6).
However it was possible to observe and measure elemental interactions of consciousness through physiological approaches, it could by no means describe consciousness. Wundt identified that conscious experience was formed through complex association of sensations feelings and emotions which culminated in generating a large working memory called the perception field. The perception field stored all the experience of an individual. The intensity with which they were felt was determined by what an individual decided to focus on or attended to. The process of selective attention was what Wundt termed apperception that is the consciousness the individual is aware of (3).
In essence then Wundt's' psychology emphasized on the contribution of an individuals will to selectively decide and chose. The mind was also capable of creative synthesis, that is the consciousness had the capacity to rearrange the elements attended and generate entirely novel experiences. Wundt called this system of psychology Voluntarism. Voluntaristic psychology considered mind to be subjected under voluntary control and therefore apperception emerges as a key factor in the normal functioning of min ... Read More
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