Comparing And Contrasting Structuralism And Behaviorism

582 words - 3 pages

In this paper I will be comparing and contrasting to very different theories in psychology, structuralism and behaviorism. Under the theory of structuralism psychologists mainly used introspection to describe mental life. Whereas, in behaviorism psychologist try to observe the behavior of living things in the universe. Throughout this paper I will be looking into the validity and acceptance of both theories.
In structuralism, psychologists use introspection to analyze and describe the human mind. They tried to experience the basic blocks of anything that pertains to our senses using introspection. An example of introspection would be placing a few grains of sand in your hand and focusing on the thoughts and feelings, and sensations associated with the sand. Introspection itself is by its very nature unscientific as there is no way to produce accurate results and almost no way to repeat test results.
Wilhelm Wundt, the father of psychology, was the first to set up a laboratory and use the method of introspection to study and analyze the adult mind. Edward Titchener studied under Wundt at the University of Leipzig. As a result of Titchener studying under Wundt his own ideas became heavily influenced by Wundt. He expanded upon Wundt’s ideas and carried them to the west, creating structuralism.
The main goals of structuralism are to attempt to study the mind and consciousness. Structuralism can be very insightful in certain studies, such as helping a patient find the answer to a problem via introspection. However, it can also prove to be very unreliable. For example, a group of psychologists studying a group of adults using introspection to determine what the subjects experienced from an ounce of sand. The results would almost always be disagreed upon by the scientists leading the study.
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