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Structuralism vs. Functionalism

             Functionalism: The Beginning of Psychology.
             Structuralism and Functionalism both differ greatly in their approach to the study of the human mind. While Structuralism aims to break down human thought perception and reaction, Functionalism claims this is not only illogical, but it is also impossible. Edward Bradford Titchener, the founder of Structuralism Wilhlem Wundt's student, claims that all consciousness could be broken down into three categories: Physical sensations, feelings and images. William James, the founder of Functionalism, feels that it is impossible to separate these forms of consciousness, because it is in their harmony that we function. Both forms, despite their differences, aided greatly in the development and growth of psychology. .
             Structuralism's main proponent is that it scientifically categorizes human consciousness. Because Wundt was the first formal psychologist, his theories needed to have its roots in science in order to gain widespread acceptance. James" Functionalism was a step away from science and more towards psychology. It was more practical, in that it did not force its students to "strip perception of all associations." James felt that stripping one's mind of any associations would adversely alter the results of experiments. James" theories quickly outdated those of Wundt, and few studied Structuralism after his death.
             Though Wundt's theories have since been abandoned, none question his vast contributions to psychology. He started the ball rolling for the many psychologists to follow, and established psychology as a pure science. James" started the belief that psychology is not only the study of perception and sensation, but also the study of how we function in any given environment. His theories in psychology were more distant from the strict sciences, and paved the way for such psychologists as Sigmund Freud and others whose theoretical foundations existed more in philosophy than science.

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