Edward Titchener – Founder of Structural Psychology

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Edward Titchener
Edward Bradford Titchener
(11 January 1867, Chichester , Sussex, England – 3 August 1927, Ithaca, New York , USA) (aged 60)
Nationality: United Kingdom, USA
Category: Scientists
Occupation: Psychologists
Specification: Experimental psychology, Structuralism
Unique distinction: Founder of Structural Psychology, major figure in the establishment of experimental psychology in the United States
Gender: Male

Quotes: 1. Common sense is the very antipodes of science. 2. An experiment is an observation that can be repeated, isolated and varied. The more frequently you can repeat an observation, the more likely are you to see clearly what is there and to describe accurately what you have seen. 3. The world of psychology contains looks and tones and feelings; it is the world of dark and light, of noise and silence, of rough and smooth; its space is sometimes large and sometimes small, as everyone knows who in adult life has gone back to his childhood’s home; its time is sometimes short and sometimes long, it has no invariables. 4. An experiment is an observation that can be repeated, isolated and varied. The more frequently you can repeat an observation, the more likely are you to see clearly what is there and to describe accurately what you have seen.

Achievements:


Social and professional position: British and American psychologist
The main contribution to (what is known): Founder of Structural Psychology, major figure in the establishment of experimental psychology in the United States, founder of the “Society of Experimental Psychologists” (1904), scientist who gave the scientific status of psychology.
Contributions: 1. Founder and head of the structural school of psychology (Structuralism), that described the elemental structures of Consciousness based on introspection.
2. Titchener developed his own version of Wundt’s psychology. He stated that the main task of psychology is to discover of the elemental components of consciousness, to analyze the complex experiences of everyday life into their elements and then to understand the nature of the compounding.
3. His primary method was introspection – the precise examination and systematic description of conscious experience, the specially trained ability to depict the phenomena of consciousness as they are.
4. He coined the English word “empathy” in 1909 as a translation of the German word “Einfühlungsvermögen”.
5. He proposed the core-context theory of meaning: a new mental process (the core) acquired its meaning from the context of other mental processes within which it occurs.
6. Was American Editor of Mind (1894-1917) and co-editor of the American Journal of Psychology (1895-1925)
7. In 1904 founded the group “The Experimentalists,” which continues today as the “Society of Experimental Psychologists”.
8. He translated into the English language 11 German works, including titles by Wilhelm Wundt, Oswald Külpe and Robert Vischer.
Major works: An Outline of Psychology (1896), A Primer of Psychology (1898), Experimental Psychology : A Manual of Laboratory Practice) (4 volumes, 1901-05), Lectures on the elementary psychology of feeling and attention (1908), Lectures on the experimental psychology of the thought-processes (1909), A Textbook of Psychology (2 volumes, 1909-10), A Beginner’s Psychology (1915), Systematic Psychology (1929). He published over 200 articles and books over 35 years.

Life:


Origin: His mother Alice Field Habin was disowned by her prominent Sussex family and his father John Titchener held a series of posts as a clerk. When Titchener was 9, he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents and two aunts.
Education: Titchener attended The Prebendal School and Malvern College and then went on to Oxford (Brasenose College) from 1885 to 1890. Then Titchener went on to Leipzig in Germany to study with Wundt . He completed his doctoral program in 1892 with a dissertation on binocular vision.
Influenced by: Wilhelm Wundt
Career highlights: After completing his doctoral program in 1892 he returned to Oxford and Burdon-Sanderson where taught in the Oxford Summer School. In autumn 1892 Titchener joined the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University as an untenured lecturer teaching philosopy and psychology. He taught as Psychology Professor at Cornell University (1892-1927).
He was a charismatic speaker and an inspiring teacher, who trained 56 doctoral students, including 21 women. Among his pupils were: Margaret Floy Washburn, the first woman psychologist, first woman to be granted a PhD in psychology (1894) and was APA president in 1921, and also J.P. Guilford, E. G. Boring, A. Maslow.
Personal life: Titchener was married in 1894 to Sophie Bedloe Kellogg, a public school teacher from Maine. She was an artist, who and provided drawings for his books. They had four children (3 girls, 1 boy).