E. B. Titchener

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I have two general questions:

1. Why did E. B. Titchener's structuralism die out?

2. In the event that Titchener's structuralism did not die out completely, in what type of psychology might Titchener's structuralism be found today? Which of today's active psychologists would most closely resemble what Titchener was doing 100 years ago at Cornell?

Thanks very much.

Best regards,

J. Wesley Null Baylor University

-- J. Wesley Null (Wesley_Null@baylor.edu), December 14, 2003


Titchener's structuralism died out with Titchener. Indeed, one might argue that Titchener (and a few of his student) *were* structuralism. Although structuralism is called a "school," Titchener was not terribly successful in drawing experienced psychologist to his cause. There were few other defenders of structuralism in the literature (though see Mary Whiton Calkins' (1906) "A Reconciliation Between Structural and Functional Psychology" (available on-line at http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Calkins/reconciliation.htm). Titchener was so uninfluential a figure in the APA that he dropped out and formed a group mor to his liking, "The Experimentalists." That group still exists as the "Society of Experimental Psychologists" (http://www.sepsych.org/), but its work is not modeled on his "structural" approach.

In recent decades there has again been some interest in the nature of consciousness, but it is hard to see it as having much to do with Titchener's approach to the topic.

-- Christopher Green (christo@yorku.ca), December 14, 2003.

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