By General Agreement Psychology Was Born In

Perhaps the best known of the statisticians was Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927). Titchener was a student of Wundt, who arrived in the United States at the end of 19.19.19. and founded a laboratory at Cornell University (Figure 1.4). (Titchener was later rejected by McGill University (1903). Perhaps he was ahead of his time; Brenda Milner did not open the Montreal Neurological Institute until 1950.) In his research on introspection, Titchener and his students claimed to have identified more than 40,000 sensations, including those related to vision, hearing and taste. An important aspect of the structuralist approach was that it was rigorous and scientific. Research marked the beginning of psychology as a science, as it showed that mental events could be quantified. But statisticians have also discovered the limits of introspection. Often, even well-trained researchers have not been able to share their subjective experiences. When participants were asked to make simple mathematical problems, they could easily do them, but they could not easily answer how they did them. Thus, statisticians were the first to recognize the importance of unconscious processes – that many important aspects of human psychology occur outside our consciousness, and that psychologists cannot expect researchers to be able to account for all their experiences. Psychology is not a discipline, but a collection of many sub-disciplines that all share at least some common approaches and who work together and exchange knowledge to form a coherent discipline (Yang-Chiu, 2009). Because the field of psychology is so broad, students may be wondering which fields are best suited to their interests and what types of professions might be available to them.

Table 1.5, “Some Career Paths in Psychology,” helps you consider the answers to these questions. To learn more about these different areas of psychology and related careers, visit The advent of the Second World War changed everything. Psychiatric victims of the war were upsetting, and there simply were not enough psychiatric specialists to meet the needs. In response to this shortage, the federal government has asked the AAP and the APA to work together to address the nation`s mental health needs. The result was the merger of AAAP and APA and the focus on training professional psychologists. The provisions of the National Mental Health Act of 1946 allowed the APA, the Veterans Administration and the Public Health Service to work together to develop training programs that would provide clinical psychologists.

Fotos: Kathrin Leisch
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