Eb Titchener Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

E.B. Titchener answers some criticisms of his approach to his views of experimental psychology (mostly from Professor W. Caldwell) in the classic rebuttal, Structural and Functional Psychology (Titchener, 1899). Titchener was dedicated to the formation of a systematic scientific psychology that was constantly structural in form and dealt entirely with the contents of human experience or consciousness. In the rebuttal to his critics Titchener makes several points:

He agrees that the structural view of the mind is difficult to comprehend because we tend to view mental processes in terms of their functional value. The scientific or structural type of introspection, which he champions as an empirical study of immediate experience or consciousness, is a study of psychological processes (Is), whereas unschooled introspection is one that places certain values or is subjective (Is-for). He agrees that it is difficult to fully avoid functional introspection.

Titchener makes a case to accept functional psychology as a valid part of psychological science that one day will use the experimental method. He makes a case that scientific introspection of the Is-for should break down an organism's "mental tools" to their simplest levels and function. He understands that this may lead psychological science to making value judgments, but he warns against this. He gives some examples of how psychological science should conduct investigations and understands that the line between his vision of psychological science and ethics and aesthetics is not rigid.

3. Titchener's seems surprised that Caldwell claims that he treats his structural elements of consciousness as real when…

Sources Used in Document:


Titchener, E.B. (1899). Structural and functional psychology. Psychological Review, 8, 290-299.

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