Intro to Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt and Sigmund Freud
Wilhelm Wundt and Sigmund Freud have both done a great deal for the field of
Wundt, often called “the father of modern psychology” was born in Baden
Germany on August 16, 1832. When he was 19 years old he went to school to study
medicine, but became more interested in science than having a career in medicine. He
became a physiology instructor in 1857 at the university in Heidelberg. In 1864 he
became the assistant professor and in 1867 began teaching a course he made called
physiology psychology. This course taught the connection between the body and the
Wundt based many of his ideas on the Spinozan idea of psychological parallelism which basically states that for every physical event there is a mental event, and vice versa.
The biggest accomplishment made by Wundt was the creation of the first laboratory for research in the psychological field in 1879. He believed that psychology shouldn’t be lumped together in physiology and philosophy courses, but that it should be a course of study on its own. He held experiments where the researcher would observe how people reacted to certain stimuli. He made the first experimental psychology class, and in 1894 because of his idea the “Institute for Experimental Psychology, was created at the university in Leipzig.
Sigmund Freud is much more widely known for his controversial ideas and contributions to the field of psychology.
Freud was born on May 6th, 1856. He enrolled in the University of Vienna in 1873 for medical studies. In 1876 he began research at the Psychological Institute of Ernst Brucke. In 1885 Freud began research on nervous disorders. He did a great deal of work on hysteria, and Freud believed that this was a nervous disease that exclusively effected women. Hypnosis was most commonly used as treatment for hysteria and unlocking memories, but Freud started treating these problems by just having patients talk and say whatever came into their minds.
Freud has many famous theories but among the most important are many disturbing memories are linked to sex, the theory of libido, the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego, and the Oedipal complex
Freud found when treating patients with repressed memories, that many of the memories were linked to some negative past memory dealing with sex. His theory of libido was that everyone is born with a libido, or a basic desire for sex. He believed that everyone goes through four stages in their psycho-sexual development, Oral, Anal, Phallic, and Latency. The Oral stage occurs in infants, when they are the center of their own world, and get pleasure from nursing. The second stage is Anal which happens when young children realize there is a world outside of themselves and begin to practice the ideas of cleanliness and order. The third stage is the Phallic stages, when according to Freud children discover and experiment with their sexual organs. Males in this stage fall in love with their mothers, and hate and fear their fathers because they are jealous of them (The Oedipal Complex). Girls supposedly hate their mothers because they discover that they don’t have a penis and blame it on their mother for giving birth to them. The fourth stage is Latency where the sex drive seems to be repressed until adolescence.
The Id, Ego, and Super-Ego represent the way the mind is broken down into three parts. The Id represents the primitive instincts of the brain. The Ego eventually controls the Id and controls social behavior and development. The Super-Ego represents discipline and a parental type authority.
Both Wundt and Freud changed the field of psychology by introducing their new and controversial ideas. While both of them were not always correct in their theories, they both opened new doors for further research to be done.
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Boeree, C. George. “Wilhelm Wundt and William James”. Http://www.ship.edu/~cboeree/wundtjames.html (1999-2000)