Would someone be willing to mark this answer? I really struggled with it so would like to know if I'm on the right track.
Describe and evaluate Wundt’s role in the emergence of psychology as a science (8 marks)
Wundt was known as the ‘father of psychology’ and had an important role in its emergence as a science. He opened the first laboratory in Germany in 1875 in order for researchers to test assumptions about behaviour in a highly controlled environment via the use of Wundt’s structuralist approach, which sought to break down basic behaviours into their basic elements. This helped stabilise psychology as a distinct science in its own right, as it used methods that were both replicable and empirical. Additionally, Wundt published the first psychological book, Principles of Physiological Psychology, which helped to establish the subject as an independent branch of sciences and was used by later students in the field.
A strength of Wundt’s approach is that he used controlled laboratory settings to test behaviours. He did this by controlling confounding and extraneous variables so it would not impact the results of his study. For example, he would use a controlled, standard stimuli and asked participants to report on their thoughts and feelings (introspection) in a controlled laboratory setting. This therefore decreased the effect of any extraneous and confounding variables. This paved the way for later controlled studies with standardised procedures, such as with Bandura and his Boba Doll experiment in studying modelling behaviours. As such, a strength of Wundt’s approach is his use of highly controlled laboratory settings to study behaviour.
However, a limitation of Wundt’s structuralist approach is introspection’s subjective nature. Introspection required people to report on their conscious thoughts and feelings, however people may not have shared embarrassing thoughts due to social desirability bias. As such, his results could not be reliably reproduced by other researchers, meaning his theories lacked scientific credibility. This reduced Wundt’s impact on psychology emerging as science as he could not generate general laws to predict future behaviour which is an aim of science. This continues to be a problem for modern psycholgists, where much of the subject matter of psychology are unobservable constructs. As such, a limitation of Wundt’s approach is its subjective methods.