If you ask someone in the field of psychology who is the father of psychology, they will probably point to Sigmund Freud. However, there are other psychologists who deserve credit as the founders of psychology, too.
The first psychology laboratory was established in 1879 by Wilhelm Wundt, a German psychologist. His lab paved the way for psychology to become a science distinct from biology and philosophy.
His experiments with a number of different animals helped establish many of the scientific methods that are still used today by Psychologist Sutherland Shire. These include the operant conditioning method, which is a technique that helps to modify behavior.
He also helped establish the field of experimental psychology, which is the field that studies how our mind and behaviors interact with each other. He also influenced American psychologists such as James McKeen Cattell, who was the first professor of psychology in the United States.
Psychologists like Wundt
Psychologists like Wundt pushed the idea of experimental introspection, which involves the use of a trained observer to study how a person feels and what they are thinking. This introspective method was not as empirically rigorous as the research conducted today, but it was a crucial step in establishing psychology as a science.
He later authored a series of books that were considered essential reading for any psychology student. These books, including his ten-volume work entitled Volkerpsychologie, laid the foundation for modern psychological theory. These books were not always well-received by his peers, but they had a profound impact on psychology as a whole.