The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions

By Margaret P. Munger | Go to book overview

25
E. B. TITCHENER

Edward Bradford Titchener (1867–1927), a formal and frank Englishman with an imposing
beard, arrived at Cornell University in 1892 having just received his Ph.D. from the Uni-
versity of Leipzig. A fine musician, Titchener provided music instruction at Cornell until a
formal music department was established, presenting weekly concerts at his home fol-
lowed by casual conversation. In the course of developing one of the largest psychology
programs in the United States, he maintained a firm, some say iron-fisted, understanding of
what ought to considered psychology. Titchener deplored the inclusion of applied fields,
arguing that the application of psychology would be best accomplished by separate disci-
plines (e.g., that educational psychology should be under the education department).
Titchener became intrigued with experimental psychology while a student at Oxford Uni-
versity, translating Wilhelm Wundt's (p. 296) Principles of Physiological Psychology from
the original German before traveling to Leipzig to study with Wundt. In an era when the
Trustees of both Harvard University and Columbia University refused to allow women ac-
cess to graduate study, Cornell's doors were open to any who sought instruction. In fact,
Titchener's first graduate student was Margaret Floy Washburn (p. 203), who wrote that he
had two great gifts, “his comprehensive scholarship … and his genius as a lecturer,” but
an unfortunate tendency to isolate himself from his surroundings. Titchener was a product
of his times and felt that while women could be trained, and ought to be hired, as scien-
tists, it was personally inconceivable to have truly collegial relations with them. In 1904,
he organized the “Experimentalists” as an annual meeting for the critical presentation and
open discussion of experimental psychology. The guest list included the heads of all the
prestigious psychological laboratories in North America and their male junior colleagues
and graduate students. This forum provided invaluable exposure and contacts, but Titchen-
er did not allow women in the group, despite a handful of obviously qualified and inter-
ested women—he felt their presence would diminish frank criticism and place restrictions
on smoking. Women, even active scientists, in his mind, were simply incapable of engag-
ing in open, critical discussion. He was not alone in this opinion, and despite some spirit-
ed protests by Christine Ladd-Franklin, an incredibly active researcher with part-time lec-
turing positions at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University, women were not
invited until the group reorganized two years after Titchener's death in 1927.

From E.B. Titchener, “Ideational Type and the Association of Ideas.” In Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Prac-
tice (pp. 195–206). New York: Macmillan 1927.

-324-

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The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part 1 - What is the Mind? 1
  • 1: Plato 2
  • 2: Hippocrates 4
  • 3: Aristotle 20
  • 4: Saint Augustine of Hippo 35
  • 5: Saint Thomas Aquinas 46
  • Part 2 - Mechanisms of Mind 67
  • 6: René Descartes 68
  • 7: John Locke 81
  • 8: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 96
  • 9: David Hume 113
  • 10: Immanuel Kant 127
  • Part 3 - Scientific Methods 141
  • 11: Gustav Theodor Fechner 142
  • 12: Hermann Von Helmholtz 154
  • 13: Hermann Ebbinghaus 168
  • 14: Ivan Pavlov 178
  • Part 4 - Emotion and Instinct in Animals and Humans 187
  • 15: Charles Darwin 188
  • 16: Margaret Floy Washburn 203
  • 17: William James 215
  • 18: Francis Galton 232
  • Part 5 - Human Development 249
  • 19: Milicent W. Shinn 250
  • 20: Sigmund Freud 258
  • 21: Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon 270
  • 22: Hugo Münsterberg 288
  • Part 6 - What is the Goal of Psychology? 295
  • 23: Wilhelm Wundt 296
  • 24: Max Wertheimer 308
  • 25: E. B. Titchener 324
  • Part 7 - Learning 331
  • 26: John B. Watson 332
  • 27: Edward C. Tolman 341
  • 28: D. O. Hebb 357
  • Part 8 - Cognition 367
  • 29: Jean Piaget 368
  • 30: L. S. Vygotski 387
  • 31: B. F. Skinner 399
  • 32: Noam Chomsky 408
  • 33: Sir Frederic C. Bartlett 430
  • 34: Ulric Neisser 447
  • Part 9 - Considerations of Context 467
  • 35: James J. Gibson 468
  • 36: James L. Mcclelland, David E. Rumelhart, and Geoffrey E. Hinton 478
  • 37: V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee 492
  • Bibliography of Readings 511
  • Bibliography of Biographical References 513
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