Wilhelm Wundt and Early American Psychology

A Clash of Cultures
  • Arthur L. Blumenthal
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


Long after the prominence of Wilhelm Wundt as a psychological theorist had faded from the collective consciousness (or collective verbal behavior) of American psychologists, the most successful historian of psychology at mid-20th century, E. G. Boring (1929, 1942, 1950), summarized Wundt’s work with the following dozen or so points: that Wundt’s psychology began as physiological psychology (1950, p. 317); that Wundt claimed psychology as one of the natural sciences (p. 319); that to Wundt scientific meant “experimental” (p. 321); that Wundt made introspection the primary method of his laboratory (p. 328); that Wundt borrowed British associationism and was an elementalist (in the sense of mental chemistry) (p. 329); that Wundt was a mind-body dualist (p. 333); that Wundt opposed the implication of an active agent (p. 339); that Wundt’s psychology was exceptional for its narrowness (p. 343); and that Wundt’s life was withdrawn from the world of the affairs of common men (p. 344).


American Student Psychological Laboratory Physical Causality Modern Psychology German Rationalism 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

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  • Arthur L. Blumenthal

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