PSY2 – Approaches: Lesson 01

Introduction & Wundt

This unit of work is essentially a trip through the history of Psychology. You will look at the dominant theorists and ideas in the subject during our foundation from 1880 until the present day.  The aim of the unit is to get a detailed understanding of the core ideas and to be able to track whether Psychology (both now and in the past) has the credibility of the other sciences by deciding if each approach meets the criteria for science.

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Learning Objectives

  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND what the origins of Psychology are and the history of our discipline.
  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND who Wilhelm Wundt is and ANALYSE his impact on Psychology.
  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND what introspection is.
  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND what the key features of science are and ANALYSE how these APPLY to Psychology over the years.

Lesson Outline:

L1-L2 Wundt ATP


  1. Discuss the philosophical roots of Psychology as a class.
  2. To take notes in booklet, on the impact each of these philosophers have had on the formation of Psychology as a unique discipline.
  3. Take notes on the work of Wilhelm Wundt from PowerPoint.
  4. Take notes on what introspection is in booklet.
  5. Watch the Introspection video

Content Recap:

Wilhelm Wundt: is known as ‘the father of psychology’ (in Europe at least). He is responsible for moving the subject from philosophical roots to controlled research by setting up the first psychology laboratory in Liepzig, Germany in 1870s. According to Wundt, no one could observe an experience better than the person having the experience and he promoted the use of introspection as a way of studying mental processes.

Introspection: In short is “Thinking about our own thinking”. However for Wundt it was the systematic analysis of own conscious experience of a stimulus with a focus on being objective. He would get participants to reflect on sensations, feelings and images whilst focusing on an everyday object and look inwards noticing sensations and feelings and images. He was aiming to break thoughts about an object down into separate elements. His work paved the way for later controlled research and the study of mental processes eg by cognitive psychologists.

If you would like to access PsychoPepper’s Glossary of Terms please click here

Resources Used:

Study Notes – History of Psychology (TBC):

If you would like to download a set of study notes for this lesson, you can do so here. If you would like access to the original word file please tweet @psychopepper


I would suggest that you have a copy of one of the textbooks which will allow you to read around the subject matter, pre-read ahead of lessons or even take extra notes/practise questions afterwards.  I would recommend the following (you do not need to replicate books, one of each type is plenty!)


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