While Müller ended his life as the experimentalist, he did not start out as one. His second doctoral subject was experimental physics (taught by Wilhelm Weber), but his dissertation of 1873 and his habilitation of 1876 (Müller, 1878a) would today be book-length versions of a Psychological Review articles, since there is no original data in either one. In the Habilitation, he defined much of the standard psychophysics that has been passed down to students (Haupt, 1995); recommended using both ascending and descending methods of limits to limit bias and the method of constant stimuli, which he extensively developed with the Müller weights, would seem to be another method designed to improve the usefulness of a threshold, but he did not provide any new experimental data. In the early papers on memory by Müller and Schumann, he seems to have originated a number of important procedural controls for the study of association. Kroh (1935, p. 155) puts Müller in the same group (first generation of psychologists) with Stumpf and Külpe, for which the transition to being an experimentalist was a significant step; a step that was not required for anyone trained as a physicist (Fechner) or physiologist (Wundt).
"The basic thesis of gestalt theory might be formulated thus: there are contexts in which what is happening in the whole cannot be deduced from the characteristics of the separate pieces, but conversely; what happens to a part of the whole is, in clearcut cases, determined by the laws of the inner structure of its whole." Max Wertheimer, Gestalt theory.
Social Research, 11 (translation of lecture at the Kant Society, Berlin, 1924).
This site includes biographical profiles of people who have influenced the development of intelligence theory and testing, in-depth articles exploring current controversies related to human intelligence, and resources for teachers.
This is an e-text about the historical and philosophical background of Psychology. It was originally written for the benefit of my students at Shippensburg University, but I hope that it helps anyone with an intellectual interest in the field. The material is original and copyrighted by myself, and any distribution must be accompanied by my name and the copyright information. For personal educational use, it is free to one and all.
Descartes, Bishop Ussher, Hobbes, ... , Locke, Pepys, Perrault
Broughton, Leibniz, Berkeley, ... , La Mettrie, Hartley, Tillotson
This site is dedicated to locating and reporting traces of the history of psychology throughout Europe. It is an outgrowth of several recent trips to Europe, during which I visited sites both well known and obscure. It occurred to me that an index to historical artifacts of psychology could enrich a visit to Europe, and help interested people locate some of the roots of our discipline.
Galton and subsequent investigators find wide divergences in people's subjective reports of mental imagery. Such individual differences might be taken to explain the peculiarly irreconcilable disputes over the nature and cognitive significance of imagery which have periodically broken out among psychologists and philosophers. However, to so explain these disputes is itself to take a substantive and questionable position on the cognitive role of imagery. This article distinguishes three separable issues over which people can be "for" or "against" mental images. Conflation of these issues can lead to theoretical differences being mistaken for experiential differences, even by theorists themselves. This is applied to the case of John B. Watson, who inaugurated a half-century of neglect of image psychology. Watson originally claimed to have vivid imagery; by 1913 he was denying the existence of images. This strange reversal, which made his behaviorism possible, is explicable as a "creative misconstrual" of Dunlap's "motor" theory of imagination.
Throughout most of human history, psychology did not exist as a specific field of study. For many years, psychology was a subject addressed indirectly by mythology, relegion, politics and philosophy. Only towards the end of the 19th Century did psychology become a discipline of its own. Welcome to the Lifschitz Psychology Museum. This virtual museum provides a variety of exhibits regarding the many facets of psychology. The exhibits are designed to be friendly enough for anyone to enjoy, but also contain a wealth of intriguing information. It is our hope that your visit will be an enjoyable and educational experience.