Psychology : The Mind And How It Works

1287 Words6 Pages
Before psychology became a formal scientific discipline, philosophers and physiologists began to question the mind and how it works. Some focused on the innermost workings of the mind, such as consciousness and introspection, while others were more interested in its mechanics. Knowing how the field was founded is instrumental in its current applications and how it will continue to be altered and constructed in the future.
A system of psychology originally advocated by William Wundt, to identify the components of the mind; Structuralism was organization of consciousness of the mind - the mind could voluntarily order and organize mental elements. The term introspection, coined by Wundt, was used as the method of understanding the conscious mind by researchers (K. Cherry, n.d). E.B. Titchener, a student and follower of Wundt, translated material brought from Germany to the United States. While he claimed it was Wundt’s material, his translations were drastically different, misrepresented even, from those ideas originally formed by Wundt. In direct opposition (Schultz, 2011), Titchener was more focused on the mechanical linking of elements through association instead of apperception. He believed that psychology’s main focus was to examine each individual piece of consciousness- consequently, finding its structure. The zeitgeist of the time inferred that the broken down pieces of consciousness was equal to the sum of the parts. According to Titchener, “Consciousness and
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