Article ID: CBB001420016

The Emergence and Development of Bekhterev's Psychoreflexology in Relation to Wundt's Experimental Psychology (2014)


After its foundation, the Laboratory for Experimental Psychology at Leipzig University became an international center for psychological research, attracting students from all over the world. The Russian physiologist and psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev (1857--1927) was one of Wilhelm Wundt's students in 1885, and after returning to Russia he continued enthusiastically his experimental research on mental phenomena. However, he gradually distanced himself from Wundt's psychological project and developed a new concept of psychology: the so-called Objective Psychology or Psychoreflexology. The goal of this paper is to analyze Bekhterev's position in relation to Wundt's experimental psychology, by showing how the former came to reject the latter's conception of psychology. The results indicate that Bekhterev's development of a philosophical program, including his growing interest in establishing a new Weltanschauung is the main reason behind his divergence with Wundt, which is reflected in his conception of scientific psychology. Despite this, Wundt remained alive in Bekhterev's mind as an ideal counterpoint.

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Authors & Contributors
Hatfield, Gary Carl
Robinson, D. K.
Schmidgen, Henning
Métaux, Alexandre
Bringmann, Wolfgang C.
Ungerer, Gustav A.
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Psychologische Rundschau
Storia e Critica della Psicologia
Perspectives on Science
History of the Human Sciences
Kluwer Academic
MIT Press
Experimental psychology
Experiments and experimentation
Discipline formation
Senses and sensation; perception
Wundt, Wilhelm Max
James, William
Friedrich, Max
Watson, John Broadus
Freud, Sigmund
Skinner, Burrhus Frederic
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Universität Leipzig
Society of Experimental Psychologists

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