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Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920)

Wundt3Wilhelm Wundt was a German physiologist and psychologist, who is widely credited as the founder of experimental psychology. Wundt is also acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential psychologists of all time.

Born in Neckarau, Germany, Wilhelm Wundt was the fourth child of a Lutheran minister. Despite coming from a family that boasted numerous scholars, scientists, and physicians, Wundt initially was not a good student. After he dropped out of one high school, a teacher suggested that a reasonable goal for Wundt would be a career in the postal service. Wundt’s scholastic abilities improved, however, and in 1855 he graduated at the top of his class in medical school. Wundt then went to Berlin to study physiology with Johannes Müller, and he subsequently decided to become an experimental physiologist himself. Wundt then returned to the University of Heidelberg, where he worked as an assistant for Herman von Helmholtz. It was at Heidelberg that Wundt taught his first course in psychology. The year was 1862.

In 1879, at the University of Leipzig, where he held a chair in philosophy, Wundt established the Institute for Experimental Psychology, the first laboratory whose formal purpose was the scientific investigation of the human mind. Wundt is one of the most prolific contributors to the field of psychology ever. It is estimated that between the years of 1853 and 1920, Wundt wrote 53,735 pages of text. Wundt was not only a voracious writer; he was also responsible for training numerous researchers, some of whom, such as Edward Titchener, brought versions of Wundt’s psychology to America.

Cicarelli, S.K., & White, J.N. (2015). PSYCHOLOGY, AN EXPLORATION (3rd ed): PEARSON

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