Wilhelm Wundt : biography
Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (16 August 1832 – 31 August 1920) was a German physician, psychologist, physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the founding figures of modern psychology. As a matter of fact, Wundt, who noted psychology as a science apart from biology and philosophy, was the first person to ever call himself a Psychologist.Carlson, Neil and Heth,C.Donald"Psychology the Science of Behaviour". Pearson Education Inc,2010 p. 18 He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology".Butler-Bowdon, Tom. , (2007): p. 2. In 1879, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This marked psychology as an independent field of study.Schacter, Daniel. L "Psychology"
By creating this laboratory he was able to explore the nature of religious beliefs, identify mental disorders and abnormal behavior, and find damaged parts of the brain. In doing so, he was able to establish psychology as a separate science from other topics. He also formed the first journal for psychological research in 1881.
Wundt was born at Neckarau, Baden (now part of Mannheim) on August 16,Titchener, E.B. (1921). Wilhelm Wundt. The American Journal of Psychology, 32(2). Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/stable/1413739 1832, the fourth child to parents Maximilian Wundt (a Lutheran minister), and his wife Marie Frederike. When about four years of age, Wundt’s family moved to Heidelsheim which was known to be a small town. He studied from 1851 to 1856 at the University of Tübingen, University of Heidelberg, and the University of Berlin. After graduating in medicine from Heidelberg (1856), Wundt studied briefly with Johannes Peter Müller, before joining the University’s staff, becoming an assistant to the physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz in 1858.http://wilhelmwundt.com/index.htm There he wrote Contributions to the Theory of Sense Perception (1858–62). In 1865, he wrote a textbook about human physiology. However, his main interest was not in physiology but in the medical field of pathological anatomy.Titchner, E.B. 28 November 1970. "Wilhelm Wundt." The American Journal of Psychology 296(7683). http://www.jstor.org/stable/1413739 In 1867 he became a professor in acquainting medical students with the exact physical needs for medical investigation. In 1874, he became a professor of "Inductive Philosophy" in Zurich. In 1875, he moved back to Leipzig.
He married Sophie Mau while at Heidelberg. It was during this period that Wundt offered the first course ever taught in scientific psychology, all the while stressing the use of experimental methods drawn from the natural sciences, emphasizing the physiological relationship of the human brain and the mind. His background in physiology would have a great effect on his approach to the new science of psychology. His lectures on psychology were published as Lectures on the Mind of Humans and Animals in 1863-1864. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Physiology at Heidelberg in 1864. Weber (1795–1878) and Fechner (1801–1887), who worked at Leipzig, inspired Wundt’s interest in neuropsychology.
Wundt applied himself to writing a work that came to be one of the most important in the history of psychology, Principles of Physiological Psychology in 1874. This was the first textbook that was written pertaining to the field of psychology.Carlson, Neil and Heth,C.Donald"Psychology the Science of Behaviour". Pearson Education Inc,2010 Wundt claimed that the book was "an attempt to mark out [psychology]as a new domain of science"Francher, 1979, p. 126 The Principles utilized a system of psychology that sought to investigate the immediate experiences of consciousness, including feelings, emotions, volitions and ideas, mainly explored through Wundt’s system of "internal perception", or the self-examination of conscious experience by objective observation of one’s consciousness. In 1879, at the University of Leipzig, Wundt opened the first laboratory ever to be exclusively devoted to psychological studies, and this event marked the official birth of psychology as an independent field of study. The new lab was full of graduate students carrying out research on topics assigned by Wundt, and it soon attracted young scholars from all over the world who were eager to learn about the new science that Wundt had developed.Schacter, Daniel. L "Psychology"