What Did Wilhelm Wundt Contribute to Psychology?
Wilhelm Wundt is often considered the founder of experimental psychology; he contributed to psychology by teaching the first-ever physiological psychology course in 1862, as well as publishing “Principles of Physiological Psychology,” the first book to establish psychology as its own field. Wundt defined psychology, saying it was “the study of the structure of conscious experience,” and that psychologists were attempting to find the atoms of conscious experience in order to understand how these atoms or moments combine to create the experience.
Wundt was also instrumental in helping to shape psychology as a genuine science through the methods of study. He believed that outside observers could not get the information needed on subjective experience through observation, so he focused on using introspection. He had strict criteria that he used to train his researchers and students.
The most productive part of Wundt’s career happened while he was at the University of Leipzig. He was a professor there from 1875 to 1917. He created the first psychological laboratory in the world at the university in 1879. In 1881, he created the first journal of psychology. Two of his most important written works were the books “Outline of Psychology” and the 10-volume “Ethnic Psychology.”