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The structuralism came up with the Englishman Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927) and has as a basis the study of elements or mental contents and its mechanical connection, through the process of Association, however, dismissed the idea that the apperception (mental process by which each individual perceives and interprets the world) have any participation in this process.
Its main base of studies focused on the elements themselves, and believed that Psychology should seek to discover the nature of conscious experience, elementary to determine their structure, through the analysis of the parties that form.
This conscious experience, according to Titchener is dependent on the individual who experiences, differing from the studied by scientists from other areas. For example, both physically and psychology has conditions to study the light or the sound, however, every professional will have guidance, methods and different objectives.
Physicists examine the phenomena from the point of view of the physical processes involved, the psychologists analyzed the same phenomena on the basis of experience and personal observation of those who experience. The other sciences do not depend on the personal experience of the subject who observes some phenomenon, nor of his description of the feelings involved. They only observe and report the results.
An example of physics quoted by Titchener is the fact of a room can be at a temperature of 30ºc, regardless of whether or not anybody in this room to feel it. In this case, even though there is nobody in the room, the temperature will be the same. In the focus of psychology, if there's a subject as an observer of this room, he can report that feels an uncomfortable heat or not, depending on their experiences with the sensation of heat.
Thus, psychology, still according to Titchener, must have as object of study the conscious experience of the individual, given the various situations which is exposed.
In his book the Textbook of Psychology, Titchener CITES that "all human knowledge is derived from human experiences, there is no other source of knowledge". Based on this statement, we can conclude that all human experience can be analyzed by different viewpoints, though none of them necessarily incorrect, because each individual has their own experiences and, therefore, its own repertoire of knowledge.
When he studied the conscious experience, Titchener warned about the possibility of a mistake, which he called the mistake of stimulus, which generates a confusion between the object of observation and the thought process involved. For example, if you show an Apple to someone, and ask that person to describe what you see, most likely will say that it is an Apple, not describing its characteristics such as color, shape, and brightness.
This lack of description of the component elements of the Apple is what Titchener called stimulus error, since the features were cast aside in favor of the simpler description and known. In this case, the observer is interpreting the object rather than analyzing it.
Titchener defined consciousness as the sum of existing experiences at one point and the mind as the sum of the experiences accumulated over time. For him, the only legitimate purpose of psychology should be discovering the facts of structural mind and study them.
SCHULTZ, Duane p.-history of modern psychology/Duane p. Schultz, Sydney Ellen Schultz; translation Suely Murai Cuccio. -São Paulo: Cengage Learning, 2009.