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Psychology - origins of psychology Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

origins of psychology - 8 mark essay

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Wundt was a German psycho­logist who is often referred to as the father of psycho­logy. He opened a laboratory for experi­mental psychology in Leipzig Germany which was the first laboratory dedicated to psychology – this is often seen as the beginning of modern science. Wundt introduced the struct­uralism approach. Struct­uralism is the study of the human mind by breaking down behaviours such as memory and perception into their basic elements. Wundt argued that mental processes could be scient­ifi­cally studied by intros­pec­tion. Intros­pection is the systematic analysis of one’s own conscious experience of a stimulus. Wundt believed that with enough specia­lised training mental processes such as memory or perception could be system­ati­cally analysed using intros­pec­tion. Observers would be shown an object and asked to reflect upon how they perceived it. Partic­ipants responses to the same stimulus could be used to establish general theories about perception and other mental processes

unreliable - non-ob­ser­vable processes

A weakness of Wundt’s methods is that they are unreliable as the approach relies primarily on non-ob­ser­vable processes. For example, behavi­ourist psycho­logists believed that that the struct­uralist approach relies heavily on non-ob­ser­vable processes such as memory. This matters because the experi­mental results cannot be reproduced by other resear­chers when they carried out the study again. Therefore, the method is not seen as reliable as the methods are not seen as scient­ific.

lacks validity - not an accurate meaurement

A weakness of intros­pection is that it is not an accurate measure of one’s own mental processes. For example, Nisbett and Wilson found that an individual may be implicitly racist which will affect the way in which they interact with people of different ethnic groups. This matters because they are not consci­ously aware so it would not uncover implicit stereo­types, so we have little knowledge about the processes underlying our behaviour. Therefore, intros­pection does not accurately measure mental processes and lacks validity