Anne Anastasi, Kenneth Clark, Florence goodenough, Francis Galton, Wilhelm Wundt, Leta Hollingworth, Gustav Fechner

Resources home
Psy315 home
Psy315 schedule

 

History of Psychology On Line Resources

Wundt's Psychological Model

(based on his 1894 Outlines in psychology)

Voluntarism, Introspection and Mental Chronometry

Voluntarism (note: not volunteerism)
  • Voluntarism: the power of the will to organize the mind’s content into higher-level thought processes.
  • An associationist model, from simple elements to larger compounds, but it does not simply progress mechanically, the will has an organizing effect.
Cataloguing the contents of the mind
  • Wundt wanted to catalog all possible basic immediate experiences, and form a “periodical table of elements” as chemistry did, through observing consciousness.
  • The way to observe consciousness is through the method of introspection.
  • Basic immediate experience (ex: the experience of “redness” or “discomfort”)
The method of introspection
  • Introspection is an internal perception (intro = inside, spectare: looking)
  • It involves observation of simple processes under very careful conditions that can be replicated
  • The observers were extensively trained (10,000 observations before they were considered trained)
The method of mental chronometry

What are the elements of conscious experience?

(for more details go to Wundt's Outlines of Psychology)

  1. At the basic level:
    • Sensations: the result of the stimulation of a sense organ.
      • Classified by: Intensity, duration, sense modality
    • Feelings: the affective tone of a sensation

     

    Basic Psychic Elements (Wundt)
    (Intensity and duration are 2 other dimensions that apply to all of these)
    SENSATIONS FEELINGS
    General Sense Pressure   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Heat   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Cold   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Sound Simple Noise   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Simple Tone   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Smell hard to categorize   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Taste Sour   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Sweet   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Bitter   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Salty   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Light Achromatic   pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
      Chromatic Tone pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Saturation pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation
    Brightness pleasant/unpleasant
    excitement/depression
    tension/relaxation

     

  2. At the level of psychical compounds
    • Several sensations form an idea.
    • Several feelings form a composite feeling
    • Emotions are affective processes over time (they have a beginning, a middle, and an end)
    • Volitions are changes in ideas or feelings that bring an emotion to an end.

     

  3. At the level of the interconnection of psychical compounds is General Consciousness.
    • General consciousness results in our overall awareness.
    • When connections are broken, unconsciousness or sleep results.
    • The process by which the synthesis of psychical compounds occurs
      • is growth oriented
      • is creative
      • fosters the development of opposites
    • Everything we have in our consciousness at one time constitutes the field or consciousness. This includes:
      • What is subject to apprehension, all the material in the field--background material, existing as a potential for apperception.
      • What is subject to apperception, and is perceived clearly.
        • Apperception is a volitional process, i.e. it has to do with the will.
          It is the will that directs the attention, is at the basis of the creative synthesis that leads to the construction of knowledge
        • Apperception is also relevant to clinical psychology.
          • Projective tests such as the Rorschach and the TAT are based on the concept of apperception. (TAT: Thematic Apperception Test)
          • Why is it that we perceive reality this or that way? Skewed perception may be connected with mental illness.
Bethel Psychology Dept
Rev. 9/22/06 / © Copyright 2003-2010 by Lucie Johnson / Feedback? Write Webmaster