The 13 best quotes from Wilhelm Wundt, the first psychologist in history

Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) is a character studied in all the faculties of psychology in the world. This German was a physiologist, philosopher and psychologist and created the first laboratory of experimental psychology in history. By means of the scientific method, it was proposed to study in depth the immediate human experience, to measure and categorize it.

With his knowledge of physiologist, he inaugurates experimental psychology by measuring reaction times, that is to say by timing the time it takes our body to generate a reaction to a stimulus. He is also one of the first to discover the relationship between certain areas of the brain and behavior. In addition, the first steps in scientific knowledge of certain mental disorders are also attributed to him, the cause of which is disease in a specific area of ​​the brain.

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Table of Contents

Wundt’s famous phrases

A central figure in the early days of psychology, but in turn an unknown figure in popular culture. In this article, we will collect the best quotes from Wilhelm Wundt and an explanation to contextualize each of them.

1. The point of view of materialist psychology can only affirm, at most, the value of a heuristic hypothesis.

Famous quote that questions science and one of its basic precepts.

2. The general assertion that mental faculties are class concepts, belonging to descriptive psychology, frees us from the need to discuss them and their importance at the present stage of our research.

One of his greatest efforts has been to create the right environment for measuring mental processes.

3. Our mind is so well equipped, fortunately, that it leads us to the most important foundations of our thoughts without our having the slightest knowledge of this work of elaboration. The results are unconscious.

About the wonders of the human mind.

4. Physiology and psychology, in the field of vital phenomena, deal with the facts of life in general, and in particular with the facts of human life.

Describing his two favorite fields of science.

5. Physiological psychology is therefore first and foremost in all psychology.

From physiology is born the basis of what we do, according to Wilhelm Wundt.

6. The point of view of materialist psychology can only affirm, at most, the value of a heuristic hypothesis.

A good reflection on the observable.

7. Village psychology must always come to the aid of individual psychology when the forms of development of complex mental processes are called into question.

Usually to the individual, and with therapeutic utility.

8. Child psychology and animal psychology are of relatively low importance compared to the sciences dealing with the corresponding physiological problems of ontogeny and phylogeny.

In this sentence, Wundt established a sort of hierarchical categorization between the disciplines.

9. Physiological psychology is competent to study the relations which occur between the processes of physics and those of mental life.

A simple and concrete description of physiological psychology.

10. The attitude of physiological psychology towards sensations and feelings, considered as psychic elements, is of course the attitude of psychology in general.

Extract from one of his most famous works: Principles of physiological psychology.

11. The distinguishing features of the mind are simply subjective; we only know them through the content of our own consciousness.

An excellent quote from Wilhelm Wundt on the nature of the mind.

12. We speak of virtue, honor, reason, but our thought does not translate any of these concepts in substance.

These are metaphysical elements to which we can only access through our morality.

13. Consequently, even in the field of natural sciences, the aid of the experimental method makes it indispensable whenever the set of problems is the analysis of transient and impermanent phenomena, and not only the observation of objects. persistent and relatively constant.

A global analysis must take into account more than one survey.

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