Compare and Contrast Wilhelm Wundt’s and Edward Titchener’s Systems of Psychology. Essay

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Compare and contrast Wilhelm Wundt’s (1832-1920) and Edward Titchener’s (1867-1927) systems of Psychology.History of Psychology

Michael Ronan

Q. Compare and contrast Wilhelm Wundt’s (1832-1920) and Edward Titchener’s (1867-1927) systems of Psychology.

Wilhelm Wundt was born in Mannheim, Germany on the 16th of August 1832. He grew up surrounded by a very intellectual family. Wundt was very distant from both his parents and a very lonely child in his early years in general. When his father suffered a stroke his assistant thought Wundt until the age of 13. At the age of 13 he entered into a Gymnasium. He failed his first year but graduated at the age of 19. (Nutty 2011) After graduating he went on to study medicine. After
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Thus, for Titchener, just as hydrogen and oxygen were structures, so were sensations and thoughts. He conceived of hydrogen and oxygen as structures of a chemical compound, and sensations and thoughts as structures of the mind. This approach is known as "structuralism."” (New World Encyclopaedia 2008)

Despite the fact that Wundt's and Titchener's views, and their scientific methods, differed in important ways, Titchener shared Wundt's vision of psychology as a pure science, with philosophical ends, and he gained the reputation of being Wundt's leading follower in the English speaking world. However, he had no interest in Wundt’s sociocultural psychology (völkerpsychologie). Titchener had been deeply influenced by positivist optimism as to the scope of science, and he hoped to study even the “higher” thought processes experimentally. This is why he attempted to push the method of controlled laboratory introspection far beyond the bounds that Wundt had carefully set for it.
(Thomas 2010)
Titchener opposed this method of introspection. He did not use instruments like Wundt and he did not focus on objective measurement. “Titchener emphasized the parts whereas Wundt had emphasised the whole.” (Nutty 2011)
Although he knew why Wundt rejected introspection as a method for studying these processes, Titchener believed its