Edward Bradford Titchener

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Edward Bradford Titchener

Edward Bradford Titchener (born January 11, 1867 in Chichester (England), † August 3, 1927 in Ithaca , New York , USA ) was an English-American experimental psychologist.


Titchener first studied philosophy, classical languages ​​and physiology at Oxford University , went to Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig in 1890 , where he received his doctorate in 1892. He then moved to the USA, where he taught psychology at Cornell University in Ithaca from 1892 to 1927. He established the first American psychological laboratory there and became one of the founding fathers of psychology in the USA.


Titchener was the first to introduce the term structuralism for Wundt's research approach as opposed to William James ' functionalism . He himself further developed this approach by taking over introspection from the Würzburg school in order to examine mental processes more closely. He compared the basic psychological elements of feelings and thoughts, for example, with the chemical elements from which higher units (molecules) can also arise.

Titchener illusion: the two orange circles in the middle are the same size

According to him, which is Titchenersche illusion of visual perception named: when a circle surrounded by larger circles, it appears smaller than an equally large circle surrounded by smaller circles.


  • Experimental psychology (1901–05, two volumes in four half volumes)
  • A primer of psychology (1903)
  • Lectures on the elementary psychology of feeling and attention (1908)
  • Lectures on the experimental psychology of the thought processes (1909)
  • A text book of psychology (1910)
  • Systematic psychology: prolegomena (1929 or 1927; edited by HPWeld)


  • Edwin Boring : Edward Bradford Titchener 1867-1927. In: Amer.J.Psychol. 1927, 38, 489-509

Web links

Commons : Edward Titchener  - collection of pictures