Compare and Contrast Structuralism and Functionalism Essay

Words: 1308
Pages: 6


In my opinion both of the theories structuralism and functionalism involved the study of the human mind and how it works and they were both concerned with the mind at the conscious level. Personally, my feel of the two is that functionalism is more important than structuralism. I believe that functionalism is far better school than structuralism as it is more flexible and scientific in nature which I can relate myself with. I happen to think that functionalism is an object that is designed to determine solely by its function. These are a few of the similarities between structuralism and functionalism. Throughout this paper I will further explore some of the differences between these
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Functionalism had a great impact on the development of psychology. Though it is no longer considered a formal “school,” the functionalist tradition remains a major orientation of most modern psychologists. (Read more about it at) Structuralism was introduced in the United States by E. B. Titchener who studied under Wilhelm Wundt. Titchener was interested in the basic elements of the conscious experience and how those elements are organized. Titchener main believed behind the theory was that psychology’s main objective would be to explore the conscious experience by studying each component part in an effort to discover its structure and I think that his main goal was to discover the so-called atoms of the mind which is still studied in today’s era. I think that in order to study each atom of the mind, structuralism strongly relied on introspection and therefore introspection heavily relied on observers that were trained to describe the observed experience at its most basic element rather than by a common or typical name that an average person may use. Structuralism did not survive and soon disappeared. Based on my readings the experimental methods used in structuralism would not be able to co-exist in today’s standards simply because the experiments were too biased