As an approach, structuralism attempted to break down consciousness into elements of consciousness for study. It assumed that studying these parts of consciousness would lead to an understanding of the whole issue.
1) Analyze the limitations and strengths of the method of studying consciousness in parts.
2) Identify and discuss one of the main criticisms of structuralism.
3 Compare and contrast structuralism and behaviorism. How did structuralism influence the creation of behaviorism?
4) How has structuralism impacted psychology today? As you consider this question, keep in mind the history and culture of the period in which Titchener practiced compared to your understanding of psychology today.
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I. Analyze the limitations and strengths of the method of studying consciousness in parts.
(1) Research points to advances in science on certain philosophical beliefs based on discoveries in the domain of biological sciences in the 1800's.
(2) The first school of psychology was begun in 1879 by Wilhelm Wundt.
(3) He instituted the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig Germany,
(4) Wundt referred a psychological orientation referred to as "structuralism"
(5) He is referred to as the father of structuralism.
(6) Structuralism can be defined as the study of the elements of consciousness
(7) The concept was based on the view that conscious experiences could be broken down into conscious elements.
(8) To break conscious experiences into conscious elements, Wundt explained introspection underlying his concept of structuralism.
(9) Based on the concept of introspection, any conscious experience must be described in basic terms (i.e., based on perception) [Example: descriptors of an apple could include sweet, tart, juicy, etc.].
(10) Thus, given this understanding in describing an apple as more than just stating an apple, Wundt used introspection experiments to list a large number of conscious elements to describe human experiences (structuralism, www.mst.edu).
II. Identify and discuss one of the main criticisms of structuralism.
Limitations--Wundt's methodology was stated to have a principal flaw in that it not viewed as consistent with the main stream views of experimental psychologists that held to scientific validity based on subject agreement and reliability. The argument was based upon the following reasons.
III. Data is often dealt with that is difficult to view in concrete terms.
IV. A phenomenon must have multiple observer agreement of the experience reliability).
V. Observers must not be biased or influenced in reporting experiences
VI. There must be an agreement on what is experienced (validity).
VII. Wundt's experiments only occurred due to bias induced by training (web.mst.edu).
VIII. A second criticism of structuralism, mainly leveled by behaviorists was that structuralist theory dealt primarily with "nonobservable" abstractions. (Structuralism, web.mst.edu)
III. Compare and contrast structuralism and behaviorism. How did structuralism influence the creation of behaviorism?
Behaviorism is outmoded. It may have helped to make psychology more scientific in 1913, when
(1) Watson advocated replacing Wundt's subjective and unreliable methodology of introspection and verbal reports with an objective methodology based on publicly observable data.
(2) Behavior analysis is a form of behaviorism applied to that which can be observed [e.g., observable motor behavior of rats, pigeons, or individuals with developmental disabilities] (Moore, 2013, p. ...
This solution traces the beginning of the construct of structuralism to contemporary usage.