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Wundts Laboratory at Leipzig in 1891 - Essay Example

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The purpose of this paper "Wundt’s Laboratory at Leipzig in 1891" is to describe Wilhelm Wundt's contribution to the experimental psychology development. Furthermore, the paper reveals some interesting aspects of Wundt’s work in the experimental psychology lab…
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Wundts Laboratory at Leipzig in 1891
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 Wundt’s Laboratory at Leipzig in 1891 Wilhelm Wundt established the first experimental psychology laboratory in the world at Leipzig. Nicolas and Ferrand (1999) present the translation of an article written Biervliet, who visited the lab in order familiarize with the experimental techniques used there and use these techniques back at the University of Ghent. From the translation, it becomes increasingly clear that all subsequent laboratories of psychology in the early years around Europe were modeled closely on the model pioneered by Wundt. Perhaps Wundt’s biggest contribution as grasped from the article was to move the study of psychology towards the use of physiological experimental laboratory techniques, and away from the natural science and philosophical domains previously used. Indeed, as stated in the article, the essence of Wundt’s contribution was that an organism’s overall adjustment was psycho-physical in nature with responses being mediated by psychological and physiological processes (Nicolas & Ferrand, 1999).
The most striking aspect of this description of Wundt’s experimental psychology lab was the manner in which he seems to have pioneered the concept of relating mental events to objectively measurable and knowable reactions and stimuli. The article states that because of Wundt’s work in his laboratory, it became possible to know the time taken by stimulus to reach the brain’s perceptive center, the motor center, and then to produce voluntary movement (Nicolas & Ferrand, 1999). It can be inferred from these observations that Wundt’s laboratory sought to consider psychology as an elaborate form of philosophy where the mind is not a substance but an activity. Another interesting aspect of Wundt’s work in experimental psychology is the description of subjects, who are conscientious, unbiased in their reaction, lack preconceived ideas, and are absolutely sincere (Nicolas & Ferrand, 1999). This seems like the complete opposite of the idea of subjects used today in experimental psychology, who are selected randomly and show different behaviors.
References
Nicolas, S., & Ferrand, L. (1999). Wundt's laboratory at Leipzig in 1891. History of psychology, 2(3), 194-203 Read More
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