Who is Edward Bradford Titchener?

Who is Edward Bradford Titchener?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Edward Bradford (11 January 1867 – 3 August 1927) was an English philosopher and psychologist.

He is one of the people who contributed to the establishment of psychology as an experimental science in the USA. Titchener, who studied classical languages ​​and biology for a while at Oxford University, which he entered in 1885, later settled on Psychology. Titchener, a 28-year-old psychology professor, was influenced by Wilhelm Wundt’s views and worked in this direction. He used the method of introspection in his studies in this direction and stated that this is a necessity in psychology.

Edward Bradford Titchener was born on January 11, 1867, in Chichester, near London, and died on August 3, 1927, in Ithaca, New York State. Titchener, who started studying classical languages, literature and then biology at Oxford University Brasenose College, which he entered in 1885, finally decided to study psychology. Impressed by the views of Wundt, who saw psychology as an experimental science of the human mind, he went to Leipzig at the end of 1890 to work in Wundt’s laboratory. Titchener, who received his doctorate in 1892 at the end of his researches here, went to the USA in the same year and established a psychology laboratory at Cornell University, where he was a lecturer. In 1895, at the age of 28, he became a professor of psychology, and in 1910 he was appointed head of the Department of Psychology at Clark University. He directed the publication of the American Journal of Psychology from 1895-1925, founded the Experimental Psychologists Association in 1904.

Titchener wanted to be one of the pioneers of the new psychology in England, but at that time people in England were very skeptical of scientific approaches other than their philosophical subjects. After a few months as a lecturer in biology at Oxford, he went to the United States to teach psychology and to run the Cornell University laboratory, where his friend from Leipzig, Frank Angell, had left to establish Stanford’s first psychology laboratory. He spent the rest of his life at Cornell until he died at the age of 60 from a brain tumor in 1927.

Titchener argued that psychology should be a branch of science that uses the in-trospection method, trying to describe and explain what is happening, not applied. He argued that the only subject in the field of psychology was consciousness, and throughout his scientific life he focused on the normal, adult human mind. Titchener, who sees psychology as an experimental and systematic science, gave important information about laboratory work in his four-volume handbook, Experimental Psychology, which he wrote for those who will study and study in this field.

Titchener’s views, who did not consider himself affiliated with a psychology school during his life, were used as a support point by those who were against behaviorist and functionalist schools, and therefore Titchener was seen as the representative of the Structural Psychology School. As Gestalt psychology started to gain importance in the USA, its influence gradually decreased.

Also please see:

– Titchener’s understanding of structuralism

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook Who is Titchener?