What Is the Difference Between Structuralism and Functionalism?

In the fields of psychology and sociology, structuralism proposes that consciousness is best understood through the systematic study of the anatomy of the brain while functionalism suggests that cognitive processes were governed by the function of the mind. Structuralism emerged in Germany while functionalism started in the United States.

The key proponents for the school of structuralism were Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchener, while the influential figures who developed the school of functionalism were William James, G. Stanley Hall and James M. Cattell. Structuralists focused on “how” the mind is structured, while functionalists delved in “why” and “how” the brain functions.