Discuss and differentiate between structuralism and functionalism.

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Essentially, structuralism and functionalism can be differentiated just as subjective thinking and objective thinking can be differentiated. Structuralism is the study of the human mind from an introspective framework. Structuralism was the first major school of thought for psychology. Because structuralism is rooted in subjective observation of one's own mind and thought processes, it certainly leaves much room for varied assertions on the human mind. Functionalism was created as a reaction to structuralism. Through functionalism, one approaches the study of the human mind from a more objective and methodical framework. Rather than focusing on introspection or sentiments, functionalists seek to understand how the brain objectively operates. Through its more methodical and science-based exploration of the human mind and psyche, functionalism can have more applications within the field of neuroscience.

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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.

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