Scope of Experimental Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Wilhelm Wundt Pages: 7 (2268 words) Published: February 13, 2013

Scope of a field refers to the future a particular career holds, how it is applied, its value and importance in the society. Scope varies with culture, geography, technological advancements and some other factors. All in all, scope can be briefly defined as the pulls and pushes related to a field.


Experimental psychology is the most important branch of psychology. The credit for establishing psychology on a scientific basis goes to experimental method. This method is now being used more and more in psychological studies.


The scope of Experimental Psychology is widening with the invention of new tools and instruments for experiments. Therefore, it is in the fitness of things that experimental psychology constitutes compulsory part of courses of psychology for the under-graduate and post-graduate students in universities everywhere in the world.

Experimental Psychology studies external behavior as well as the internal processes of the different stages of human development. Only those phenomenon fall outside its field which cannot be studied in controlled situations. The most important areas covered by experimental psychology include psycho-physics, animal psychology, learning psychology, psychology of individual differences, child psychology, educational psychology, clinical psychology and industrial psychology etc.

Due to the development of experimental psychology, other branches of psychology have managed to also develop their breadth of knowledge.

Experimental psychology emerged in Germany. Wilhelm Wundt introduced a mathematical and experimental approach to the field by establishing the first psychological laboratory at Leipzig and encouraged psychological experiments. He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology[->0]". Other early experimental psychologists, include Herman[->1] Von Helmhotz, Mckeen Cattel and Edward Titchener[->2], who included introspection[->3] among their experimental methods. Modern psychology began with the adoption of experimental methods at the end of the nineteenth century. The researches of Charles Bell and Ernst Heinrich Weber in nerves and sense of touch kinesthesis respectively also helped in the early development of experimental psychology although they were not psychologists. Gustav Fechner wrote what is considered to be the first work of experimental psychology in 1860 called Elemente der Psychophysik. Some historians believe that the beginning of experimental psychology begin in 1860 with Fechner’s publication of Elements.. A lot of his research focused on thresholds as well as just noticeable differences. He also established several methods to explore the mind-body relationship. The Würzburg School is a cornerstone of experimental psychology history. It was founded by a group of psychologists led by Oswald Külpe. They provided alternative ideas to what Edward Titchener and Wilhelm Wundt had proposed at the time. Their main focus of study was of mental operations, specifically mental set (Einstellung) and imageless thought.


Sub continent:
The first teacher of Experimental Psychology, Qazi Muhammad Aslam had the degree in Philosophy but had spent several months at the University of Calcutta to get training in Experimental Psychology under Prof. San Gupta, a well known figure in Psychology. Later on, he went to Cambridge for higher studies where he studied under F.C.Bartlett, a Psychologist who was very well known for his original work on Memory and whose book on Remembering has since become a classic. Bartlett had succeeded Sir C.S.Myers who had organized the National Institute of Industrial Psychology in London. Mayer’s was quite famous for his two volumes book on Experimental Psychology – probably the first of its kind. It has been the sole text for a very long time.

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