A group of psychologists having similar point of views and making similar approaches to study human mind or behaviour constitute a school of thought in psychology.The important schools of psychology are:
- Gestalt psychology
Structuralism is a school of psychology devoted for the study of the elements of consciousness.Wilhelm wundt,a German psychologist was the father of structuralism.He opened the world’s first psychological laboratory in Leipzig in1879.The other notable psychologists belonging to this school were Titchener,Weber and Fechner.
Aims of Structuralism
It aims at the description and analysis of the structure of consciousness by adopting introspection as the main technique.
Tenets of structuralism
- The main objective of psychology is to study and understand the structure of human mind by analyzing mental experiences and discovering the various elements.
- The mind is the sum total of various mental experiences(thoughts,feelings,imaginations etc) and the consciousness is the sum total of the mental experiences at any given time.
- There is no casual relationship between mind and body but they are parallel to each other in such a way that for every event in mind,there is a corresponding event in the body.
Merits of Structuralism
- Structuralism separated psychology from philosophy and metaphysics ,and developed it as an independent and organized discipline.
- It emphasized the systematic observation of the activities of the learner under controlled learning conditions.
- It gave an experimental method for studying human behaviour,ie;experimental introspection.
- It initiated a spirit of science and experimentation in the field of education .
Limitations of Structuralism
- Experimental introspection,the method suggested by structuralists to study mental phenomena,is unreliable,limiting and subjective.
- Structuralism is too concerned with internal behaviour,which is not directly observable and cannot be accurately measured.
- It cannot be employed to study behaviour of children,the mentally defective,insane humans and animals.