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Psychology Assignment on Structuralism & its Theories

Question

Task: Prepare a psychology assignment discussing the concept of structuralism in psychology and the related theories.

Answer

Introduction
The present psychology assignment examines the concept of structuralism which is the first part of Psychology. In this case, a school is a group of people with similar ideas who have submitted their views under the same umbrella (Thirunavakkarasu and Krishnan, 2017). These people use the same methodology to analyze their opinions and each of them has the same purpose. However, these people may not belong to the same religion or the same region. Structuralism is called the theory of consciousness in psychology. It is important to note that this theory was created by Wilhelm Wundt and his student Edward Bradford Titchener. It is a big debate in psychology about who created this field of psychology first (Seuren, 2018). Structuralism summarizes the experiences of the person from birth to the present day. In general, structuralism is a school of psychology, it analyzes the adult mind based on the simplest definitional components and then sees how these components form complex experiences (Kimura and Nakajima, 2020). In order to complete this complex task, psychologists use introspection, self-report of sensations, views, feelings, emotions, etc. However, this first school of psychology faced many challenges in the 20th century. When there was no theory of psychology, structuralism played a vital role in the development of this field. Structuralism focuses on breaking down the mental process based on the most common components of psychology as the first school of psychology.

Thesis
Structuralism is the first school of psychology. Wilhelm Wundt and Titchener contributed significantly to this first school of psychology. They made a huge contribution to the contemporary situation through their theories.

Wilhelm Wundt and the journey of psychology
Wilhelm Wundt was a German psychologist. He has a significant role in the development of psychology. He established the world's first psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany. He did the psychology-related experiments in this laboratory. German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt is referred to as the father of psychology (Dagfal, 2018). Hereferredtopsychology as a study of consciousness. It is important to note that consciousness means the current state of mind. According to Wilhelm Wundt, if there is a consciousness, then the structure will also exist. According to him, it is difficult to create a clear idea of what is being studied as a whole. So, to gain a clear idea of something, it has to be closely studied. For example, when a person's hand comes into contact with fire, then his overall feeling is 'Pain'. But if the process of pain is studied on a structural basis, the person's hands first come into contact with fire and the skin feels pain, then the message of pain is reached to the brain and the person feels pain. It means that it is more understandable when you see something closer. This view is called the structuralist approach.

Introspection
According to Wilhelm Wundt introspection is a vital issue for studying consciousness. It is important to note that it describes the feeling of a person in detail (Walters, 2020). Wundt would provide a person a stimulus and then ask about the feeling of the person, this process is called introspection. It is important to mention here Stimulus can be anything but this stimulus has to have a physical appearance. Therefore, the stimulus can be anything, including laptops, mobile phones, which allows people to react (ReckandSchiemer, 2019). Wilhelm Wundt would collect answers from the respondents and then prepare the results based on the answers they gave him.

As per Willem Wundt consciousness consists of three components. He says the person has ideas, feelings, and emotions(A heightened form of feeling) in his brain. On the other hand, Wundt says that there are three types of falling, pleasant or unpleasant, relaxed or tense, calm or excited. He first spoke about the science of immediate experience in psychology. A person has to face a number of complications to better understand Wilhelm Wundt's theory. But the real reason for this complication is the misinterpreting of his work. Wilhelm Wundt's student Titchner translated his writings for the American people. In doing this, he misinterpreted The real meaning of Wundt. He wanted to prove by this translation that Wundt supported his own theories.

Titchener and the development of psychology
Edward B. Titchener(1867-1927) was a student of Wilhelm Wundt. He was an English man who studied in Germany and later did various research work on psychology in the United States. Titchener tries to classify the structure of the person's mind in different ways.

Mind and consciousness
Titchener believed that the mind of the person would save the person's whole life experience. He thought that if basic components of the mind can be defined and categorized, then the structure of the mind can be understood (Shields, 2016). The tool that Titchner has taken to help determine different types of consciousness is introspection. According to Titchener, the state of consciousness which is to be the matter of psychology can become an object of immediate knowledge only by way of introspection or self-awareness (Shemanov, 2018). The method of the introspection of the Tichener's had a clear guideline, it helped to report introspective analysis. The subject was presented with an object such as a pencil in the process of the introspection of the Titchner. In this case, reporting the features of the pencil is the subject. Introspection basically means 'looking within', Introspection mainly tries to describe the memory, perceptions, cognitive processes, and motivation of the person.

Elements of mind
Edward B. Titchener tried to find each element of the human mind in his theory, his theory begins with this question. He concluded in his research that three types of mental element constitute a conscious experience of individuals, sensations (elements of perception), images (element of ideas), and affections (elements of emotions). It is important to note that these elements can be divided into different properties (Brysbaert, 2018). Titchner has defined them in quality, intensity, time, transparency, and extensibility. However, both sensations and images have these qualities. On the other hand, there is a lack of clearness and extensity in affection.

Interaction of elements
The second issue of Titchner's structural theory is how mental elements first meet each other and then form a conscious experience. It should be noted here that Titchner concludes his research based on the ideas of associationism. Titchner dismissed the notion of apperception and creative synthesis of his teacher Wilhelm Wundt. It is important to note that this was the basis of Voluntarism.

Physical and mental relationship
Titchener in his theory properly identified the elements of the mind and the interactions between them and then asks why these elements interact. It is worth mentioning here that Titchener was quite interested in the relationship between conscious experience and physical processes (Rajpramukh, 2020). He always believed that the physiological process provides continuous substratum. It brings a continuity of the psychological process. As a result,thenervous system does not create a conscious experience. But it can explain some of the features of the individual's mental events.

Conclusion
Structuralism has been criticized from many perspectives. However, structuralism has been most criticized by functionalism. It is important to note here that functionalism is later developed as pragmatism. The biggest criticism of structuralism is that structuralism focuses heavily on introspection, which helps to create conscious experiences. Critics argue that self-analysis is never possible because introspective students can never appreciate their own mental processes. Therefore, the results of introspection depend deeply on who is using and how they are using it. Some critics have criticized the fact that introspective techniques are actually retrospection. Critics also point out that in many cases, the sensation of the individual is actually sensational memory of the past. It means that these feelings have been acquired by individuals in the past, not now. The behavioural lists have dismissed this conscious experience as an unnecessary matter of psychology. They believe that scientific psychology will never be based on conscious experience. It will be strictly objective and measurable. They criticized the fact that the mind of a person can never be measured. So, it never deserved an inquiry in psychology. Researchers are still looking for suitable methods to accurately measure a person's conscious experiences.

In psychology, many new theories have developed, influenced by Titchner's theory. For example, in the case of cognitive psychology, the ideas of the titchner have been taken to some areas. In fact, it is a kind of experience that researchers are still working on. Recently, introspective methods are used in highly controlled situations. It is to be said that the acceptance of structuralism may have been reduced to some levels. However, in psychology, structuralism cannot be completely excluded.

The proponents of structuralism still try to argue that psychology can get important information through introspection. In fact, the current methods used in psychology are much better than introspection. Naturally, the popularity of introspection has decreased. It may be that introspection is still acceptable in some cases but using the method equally does not yield effective results. So, this method can cause problems for psychologists. Every theory should be judged on its contemporary situation and every theory needs to be corrected after a specific time. It is important to note that the history of structuralism is very ancient. Structuralism always believes that the mind can be divided into its own parts. ?

References
Brysbaert, M., 2018. The emergence of psychology as a science: how American history writing created an illusion of psychology schools at war with each other. SARTONIANA, 31, pp.215-222.

Dagfal, A.A., 2018. Psychology and psychoanalysis in Argentina: Politics, French thought, and the university connection, 1955–1976. History of Psychology, 21(3), p.254.

Kimura, R. and Nakajima, T., 2020. Digitally Enhancing Society Through Structuralism: Virtualizing Collective Human Eyesight and Hearing Capabilities as a Case Study. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 400-414).Springer, Cham.

Rajpramukh, K.E., 2020. Unit-1 Functionalists and structuralists approach. Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.

Reck, E. and Schiemer, G., 2019. Structuralism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.

Seuren, P.A., 2018. Structuralism, Rationalism and Romanticism in Psychology and Linguistics. In Saussure and Sechehaye: Myth and Genius (pp. 197-241). Brill.

Shemanov, A.Y., 2018. Policy in Relation to the Oth-er: Between Functionalism and Structuralism. ????????, 15(2), p.138. Shields, S.A., 2016. Functionalism, Darwinism, and advances in the psychology of women and gender: From the 19th century to the 21st. Feminism & Psychology, 26(4), pp.397-404.

Thirunavakkarasu, M. and Krishnan, P., 2017. Unit-4 Psychological Basis Of Mind. IGNOU.

Walters, S., 2020. 1.2 The Evolution of Psychology: History, Approaches, and Questions. Psychology-1st Canadian Edition.

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