The Emergence and Development of Bekhterev's Psychoreflexology in Relation to Wundt's Experimental Psychology
Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2014
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 189–210, Spring 2014
How to Cite
de Freitas Araujo, S. (2014), The Emergence and Development of Bekhterev's Psychoreflexology in Relation to Wundt's Experimental Psychology. J. Hist. Behav. Sci., 50: 189–210. doi: 10.1002/jhbs.21653
- Issue online: 10 APR 2014
- Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2014
- Universitätsarchiv Leipzig, Wundt-Nachlass
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.