Discuss and differentiate between structuralism and functionalismdetailed anwer.

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besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Structuralism and functionalism are both early schools of thought. Both attempt to explain the human thought process and behavior.

Structuralism breaks down the thought processes into very basic components and focused on elements of consciousness. William Wundt and Edward B. Titchner were both structuralist thinkers. Some strengths of structuralism are that it was the first major school of thought in psychology and it had a great influence on experimental psychology.

Functionalism formed as a reaction to structuralism. It was influenced by William James and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin. Functionalists focused more on the purpose of consciousness and behavior in a more systematic and accurate manner. It also emphasized individual differences and had a big influence on education.

Please take a moment to check out the link I posted below. It gives a very detailed explanation of the differences between structuralism and functionalism.