A Hundred Years of Psychology, 1833-1933

By J. C. Flugel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
PSYCHOLOGY IN RELATION TO SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY

WE may complete this review of the modern period by a brief reference to some of the main fields to which psychology has been applied. We have already had occasion to mention, here and there, some of the ways in which other disciplines or the needs of practical life have stimulated psychology, and how this latter, in return, has begun to contribute to the solution of urgent and important problems in science and in life. What we can attempt here is, no exhaustive exposition of the applications already hinted at or of others not yet mentioned, but merely an indication of the manner and extent of psychology's contribution to the work of those whose main interests and endeavours lie outside the study of mind for its own sake.

We may conveniently distinguish three main fields of application: (a) anthropology and sociology; (b) education and pædology; (c) industry. With regard to the first of these fields, we have seen how, quite early in his career as a psychologist, Wundt had expressed his belief that experimental psychology would require supplementation by Völkerpsychologie, and how he himself endeavoured, in a long series of volumes in the last twenty years of his life, to do for this branch of his subject what he had already done for experimentation. This great work definitely brought modern psychology into relation with cultural anthropology, to the advantage of both sciences; not that there is as yet the intimate rapprochement between them that will be necessary in order that they may derive the fullest possible benefit from one another. But it is greatly to the credit of psychology that, through two at least among its foremost

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