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The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century

Introduction

In his article “The psychology Laboratory at the turn of the 20th Century.” the author, Ludy T. Benjamin Jr. evaluates and gives us a historical picture of how the psychology laboratory operated from the late 1800’s to early 1900. It is during this time that the distinction between general psychology and philosophy came about. The importance of scientific psychology laboratory is discussed in depth with the model being presented and described in detail. Scientific psychology is based more on the principles of studying human behavior. This is unlike earlier methods that were being used that solely relied on philosophical methods (Freudian psychiatry, introspection) among others (Dunlap, 2007). Scientific psychology gained ground following the revolution of science and technology during the early 19th century. This was followed by quick and robust constructions of science laboratories all around America. The laboratories were used to research on all facets of issues that affected human beings. All aspects (physical, mental, emotional) were studied and researched in the laboratories. At first there was the rise of chemical laboratories which heralded the study of the body and mind. A deeper insight was sought and this later brought out the beginning of scientific psychology laboratories. This paved way into the study of the mind based on all manner of experimental methods. It has been quoted by E.G Boring that the ushering of the laboratory was an event like no other in history. It is at this point that the real distinction between the two sciences, scientific psychology and philosophy came about. Psychology at the time was surrounded by myths and beliefs. Scientific psychology easily dispelled most of these beliefs. Such beliefs were founded on occult and other paranormal ideas (Ludy, 2000).

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Thesis Statement

Ludy’s thesis is founded on the following hypothesis (espoused by Ludy): The scientific laboratory is unlike any other. When the laboratory was compared with others, they looked the same but it was different in terms of the spirit that reigned within the four walls that surrounded it. The first laboratory founded in 1879 in Leipzig Germany, created the first pioneers in the field of scientific psychology and it led to the beginning of the practice. Hence the laboratory was a symbol of greater things to come. The laboratory grew in fame and attracted more and more students from all around the World including America. This laboratory was first started by Wundt who was later joined by other famous researchers such as William James, who later went on to form his own laboratory, at the now famous John Hopkins University. Many people who studied under Wundt went on to form their own laboratories. Ludy goes on to espouse that the United States had more psychological laboratories than any other and this is due to the many number of students who learnt under Wundt (Ludy, 2000).

The author goes on to dissect the issue of how early psychologists faced many problems as many universities at the time were reluctant in the provision of funds to their psychology department. This was due to the fact that at the time many people believed that psychology was founded on spiritualism. There were problems with procuring equipment for the Laboratories. Many people who came after the pioneers did not undergo all these as they could rely on the laboratories built by their predecessors.

Personal Reaction

Ludy’s arguments are easy to comprehend as he articulates on the impact of the laboratory on modern scientific psychology. The author shows us the importance of the scientific laboratories and the roles they played in making sure that the stuffy of the mind advanced to where it is today. Modern scientific laboratories have changed over the cause of time but the foundation of studying human behavior has remained the same. The variables used to determine human behavior has always remained static and these were researched by early pioneers such as Wundt (Ludy, 2000).

The early 20th century sets the tone and presented the right environment for the development of scientific psychology through the propagation of psychology laboratories all over the world. Psychology laboratories impacted so much on normal life that they were often described and quoted in medical journals. This led to their marketing and many laboratory technicians were often criticized for devaluing the field of science because of this. Under graduate students in universities were later to benefit from the propagation of the laboratories (Schlinger, 1998).

The impact of the laboratories continues to be seen as more and more research continues to be done in them. Many inventions and discoveries as to how the mind works have been done in the laboratory. The author did well to recognize the efforts of the pioneers who laid the groundwork for us to continue into the study of scientific psychology.

References

Dunlap, Knight. (2007). Mysticism, Freudianism and Scientific Psychology. London: Oxford Publishers.

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Ludy, T. Benjamin. (2000). “The Psychology laboratory At the Turn of the 20th Century.” American Psychology. 2000: 318-321. Print.

Schlinger, Henry. (1998) Introduction to Scientific Psychology. New York: Springer.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 23). The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 23). The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century. https://studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/

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"The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century." StudyCorgi, 23 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/.

1. StudyCorgi. "The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century." December 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/.


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StudyCorgi. "The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century." December 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century." December 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-psychology-laboratory-at-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the 20th Century'. 23 December.

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