August 16 – Happy Birthday Father of Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt in 1902 was born August 16, 1832
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Wundt

My undergraduate degree is in Behavorial Science so you would think I would know who the “Father of Psychology” was. Turns out it’s Wilhelm Wundt. Fortunately, we’re never too old to learn.

William James, the “Father of American Psychology” was born in 1842. Sigmund Freud, the “founder of psychoanalysis” was born in 1856. John B. Watson, the “father of behaviorism” was born in 1878. Donald O. Clifton, the “grandfather of positive psychology” was born in 1926. Last, but not least, Siddhartha Gautama, the “great physician” and “first psychologist” was born 563 BCE.

So, it is a pleasant surprise to learn that the acknowledged “Father of Psychology” is Wilhelm Wundt who was born today in 1832 near Mannheim, Germany. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Wundt

Today’s haiku: Happy Birthday Father of Psychology

It’s never too late

to learn something new about

how we think and act

BTW: Let’s not forget the women pioneers in psychology. Check out this article 10 Women Who Helped Change Psychology at https://www.verywellmind.com/women-who-changed-psychology-2795260

Wilhelm Wundt commemorative plaque, University of Leipzig

13 thoughts on “August 16 – Happy Birthday Father of Psychology

  1. Dr B

    Nice post Patrick, but …… hang on a minute …… Wundt vs Sid? 1832 vs 563BC? I know it was a trap set for me but, but, but……. Explain your personal view. Agree or disagree with Wundt, he may have set up an institute but, …….

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    1. Patrick Cole Post author

      Good observation and question, Dr B! I need to do more research on Wundt. I honestly had not heard of him before today. My bad. Wundt is known for starting the first scientific lab dedicated to mind studies and has also acquired the title of the “father of experimental psychology” because he separated psychology from both philosophy and biology.

      Sid, on the other hand, was a very pragmatic teacher who helped people see how their thoughts altered their understanding of reality. Through better thinking people can better speak and act in ways that are more skillful and less harmful to themselves and others.

      Because I prefer a more holistic approach to life, which some might call understanding “interbeing,” I take more stock in Sid’s teachings. Now, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go to cardiologist versus my general practitioner if I needed more understanding in a specific area. 🙂

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      1. Dr B

        There is a topic or study area known as Buddhist psychology and one of the books I have is by Caroline Brazier. I read it a few years ago but have always found it hard going, perhaps because so much of it seems to be written within a psychodynamic approach. So, was Freud influenced by Sid? In parallel I have no doubt that Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius were Buddhists and their philosophy definitely was inspired from “elsewhere”! Go figure …. 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ari Joshua Bouse

    I had forgotten about learning about Wundt in psychology classes back in college. Love the Siddhartha reference! And because of him and people like you, we now have a living Buddhist Psychology. Carl Jung is a personal favorite.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Dr B

      I’m probably out on a limb here but having specialised in organisation behaviour my heroes were Reg Revans, David Nadler, and George Kelly, all with very practical processes for organisation development and change. If I had to choose one of the better known classics it would be Skinner rather than Watson, not sure why but it may have had something to do with my earlier science education. Couldn’t stand the “wishy washy” stuff of Freud, seemed impractical to someone working in a heavy manufacturing environment!

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  3. Patrick Cole Post author

    Thanks, Ari. Yes, both Carl Jung and Alfred Adler, original students of Sigmund Freud, were of interest to me early on. I eventually moved closer to Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow in my career. And, of course, now I find teachers like Siddhartha, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach of great interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Pooja G

    I remember learning about him in the very first psychology class I took at university but I had forgotten about him till this post! I usually remember Freud since I found him interesting but don’t remember too much else if I’m being honest.

    Liked by 2 people

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