The Wundtian Influence in the Evolution of American Psychology
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The paper begins by emphasizing the importance of historical continuity to the field of psychology, and goes on to explore ways in which Wundt first changed the landscape and, subsequently, how each of his many disciples channeled what they learned in Leipzig into the formulation of a distinctly American scientific and experimental lens. The paper explores Wundt's influence on the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American university system and details his lasting impact through his students William James, Hugo Munsterberg, G. S. Hall, James Cattell, John Dewey and E.L. Thorndike. The paper points out that since the inception of B.F. Skinner's ideas, Wundt's had largely fallen out of favor for their speculative vulnerability and their susceptibility to unempirical process; this paper asserts, however, that even as his ideas have waxed and waned in their credibility, each has contributed vitally to the way we understand the human mind today.
From the Paper:"The modern discourse on psychology begins with Wilhelm Wundt. The German doctor, physicist and educator is perhaps the figure most identifiably at the nexus point in history between philosophical enlightenment and the initiation of modern experimental psychology. With an escalating appreciation of the difficult balance between individual psyche and the impingement of society, man's intellectual evolution would see a great leap forward embodied by Wundt. This is not simply because of the revolutionary ingenuity that transpired at his laboratory in Leipzig but because of the degree to which this touched off a proliferation of ideas that was nothing short of global. The best and brightest students would travel from far and wide to take part in the laboratory experiments in psychology that, for a time, made Leipzig the capital of the academic world. No small number of these elite students would make their way from the United States, where the field of psychology was then viewed largely as a pseudoscience with little grounding in empiricism and the experimental process. The intercession of Wundt with this set of American scholars would essentially dismantle these impressions, with his students returning to America and splintering off into their own various extrapolations upon that which had been learned in Leipzig."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Alexander, P.A. & Winne, P.H. (2006). Handbook of Educational Psychology. Routledge.
- Beins, B. (1999). A Brief Biographical Sketch of G. Stanley Hall. American Psychological Association. Online at http://www.ithaca.edu/beins/gsh/gsh_bio.htm.
- Boeree, C.G. (2000). Wilhelm Wundt and William James. Shippensberg University.Online at http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/wundtjames.html
- Domingue, E. & Rardon, J. (2002). Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916). Earlham College.
- Landy, F.J. (2010). James Cattell (1860-1944). Social Issues Reference.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
The Wundtian Influence in the Evolution of American Psychology (2013, March 15) Retrieved April 04, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-wundtian-influence-in-the-evolution-of-american-psychology-152544/
"The Wundtian Influence in the Evolution of American Psychology" 15 March 2013. Web. 04 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-wundtian-influence-in-the-evolution-of-american-psychology-152544/>