Ninth Edition CoverGraziano & Raulin
Research Methods (9th edition)

Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) was a German psychologist and physiologist. 

In Leipzig, Germany, Wundt founded the first psychological laboratory (1879). Influenced largely by Weber’s work in sensation and Fechner’s developments of psychophysics, Wundt attempted to discern the structure of human consciousness through the method of introspection. This involved the carefully controlled presentation of stimuli, followed by the carefully trained participant’s reports of his/her resulting conscious experience (“internal perceptions”, as Wundt called them). 

Although he focused research on the elements of consciousness, Wundt was primarily interested in the question of how those elements become organized into higher cognition. Wundt’s psychology was a careful, scientific, laboratory research in keeping with the formal science of the Germans. The clear definition of Wundt’s model was an important factor in psychology’s identification as a science apart from philosophy, thus giving to psychology the visibility to stand apart as its own science. 

Wundt’s experimental psychology of consciousness was to dominate psychology for many decades. It would be transformed by Titchener into its American form, structuralism, and that approach to psychology would eventually be displaced in the United States by the sweeping development of functionalism

Wundt was enormously influential. His students (Titchener, Witmer, and others) went on to establish psychological laboratories and programs around the world, most notably in the United States and England. The development of psychology in the early 20th Century was essentially a development that was based on Wundt’s experimental psychology, developed from it, or took the form of a revolt against it. Wundt is one of the most significant psychologists in the field’s history. 

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