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Early experimental psychology

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Charles Bell. Sir Charles Bell KH FRS FRSE FRCSE MWS (12 November 1774 – 28 April 1842) was a Scottish surgeon, anatomist, neurologist and philosophical theologian.

Charles Bell

He is noted for discovering the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord. He is also noted for describing Bell's Palsy. Life[edit] Charles Bell was born in Edinburgh on 12 November 1774,[1] a son of the Rev William Bell, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, who died in 1779 when Bell was a small child. Bell grew up in Edinburgh, attending the High School (1784-8) and Edinburgh University, where he took his medical degree in 1798. He and his brother had artistic gifts, and together they taught anatomy and illustrated and published two volumes of A System of Dissection Explaining the Anatomy of the Human Body.

Bell died in the Midlands, travelling back from Edinburgh to London, in 1842. Gustav Fechner. Gustav Theodor Fechner (/ˈfɛxnər/; German: [ˈfɛçnɐ]; April 19, 1801 – November 18, 1887), was a German philosopher, physicist and experimental psychologist.

Gustav Fechner

An early pioneer in experimental psychology and founder of psychophysics, he inspired many 20th century scientists and philosophers. He is also credited with demonstrating the non-linear relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus via the formula: , which became known as the Weber–Fechner law.[1][2] Oswald Külpe. Oswald Külpe (German: [ˈkylpə]; August 3, 1862 – December 30, 1915) was one of the structural psychologists of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Oswald Külpe

Early life[edit] In August 1862, Oswald Külpe was born in Kandau, Courland, one of the Baltic providences of Russia. He never married and lived with two of his cousins for the vast majority of his life. Throughout the years he devoted an immense amount of his time to his work.[1] He learned Russian during his training at the Gymnasium at Libau, where he graduated in 1879.

In 1881 he enrolled in the University of Leipzig. From 1881 to 1887 Külpe studied first at the University at Leipzig, then at the University of Berlin, followed by a year and a half at the University of Göttingen under G.E. Laboratory at Würzburg[edit] Though he published many of his own personal works, Külpe never penned any of the traditional Würzburg papers. Imageless thought[edit] George Trumbull Ladd. Charles Sanders Peirce. Ernst Heinrich Weber. Ernst Heinrich Weber (June 24, 1795 – January 26, 1878) was a German physician who is considered one of the founders of experimental psychology.

Ernst Heinrich Weber

Weber (1795-1878) was an influential and important figure in the areas of physiology and psychology during his lifetime and beyond. His studies on sensation and touch, along with his emphasis on good experimental techniques gave way to new directions and areas of study for future psychologists, physiologists, and anatomists. Ernst Weber was born into an academic background, with his father serving as a professor at the University of Wittenberg. Weber became a doctor, specializing in anatomy and physiology. Wilhelm Wundt. Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (16 August 1832 – 31 August 1920) was a German physician, physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the founding figures of modern psychology.

Wilhelm Wundt

Wundt, who noted psychology as a science apart from biology and philosophy, was the first person to ever call himself a Psychologist.[3] He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology".[4][5] In 1879, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This marked psychology as an independent field of study.[6] By creating this laboratory he was able to explore the nature of religious beliefs, identify mental disorders and abnormal behavior, and find damaged parts of the brain. In doing so, he was able to establish psychology as a separate science from other topics. He also formed the first journal for psychological research in the year 1881. Biography[edit] In 1867, near Heidelberg, Wundt met Sophie Mau (1844-1912). Publications[edit] N. Würzburg School. Psychophysics. Psychophysics also refers to a general class of methods that can be applied to study a perceptual system.


Modern applications rely heavily on threshold measurement,[3] ideal observer analysis, and signal detection theory.[4] Psychophysics has widespread and important practical applications. As just one example, in the study of digital signal processing, psychophysics has informed the development of models and methods of lossy compression. These models explain why humans perceive very little loss of signal quality when audio and video signals are formatted using lossy compression. History[edit] Many of the classical techniques and theories of psychophysics were formulated in 1860 when Gustav Theodor Fechner in Leipzig published Elemente der Psychophysik.[5] He coined the term "psychophysics", describing research intended to relate physical stimuli to the contents of consciousness such as sensations (Empfindungen).

Fechner's work was studied and extended by Charles S.