Difference between Structuralist School and Functionalist School: – In the course of History of Psychology it is common to mention the different schools and their theories, but among them, there are some that stand out more than others for their contributions to the development of Psychology as a scientific discipline. In this same order, we have two schools of great relevance, but which are often confused or misinterpreted due to the abstract concepts associated with them: the Functionalist School and the Structuralist School.
If you have doubts about it or you want to know a little more about the difference between the Functional School and the Structuralist School, continue reading, because then we explain it to you.
Difference between Structuralist School and Functionalist School
Structuralism implemented a systematic approach and aligned more with philosophy than with science. The structuralists assumed that the goal of psychology was to understand the structure of the mind and for that reason mainly used introspection as a tool to study subjects.
For example, structuralists might think that knowledge is an instinct proper to human beings and that is why everyone could acquire knowledge through the development of their own consciousness.
Structuralism consisted largely in the generalization of concepts and theories from the study of elements related to a phenomenon. The skepticists paid little attention to the cause of the mental processes of individuals, were more interested in understanding the general structure and in drawing a kind of scheme of those processes and the elements that were involved in them.
On the other hand, the Functionalist School was characterized by being more practical and scientific. He found support in Evolutionary Theory and had as one of his main purposes to understand how the mind and human behavior work when a new element or subject appears in the same environment.
Functionalists had at their disposal a wide range of research tools, including the study of animal behavior, the study of mental disorders and introspection as well. For example, the subject of human intelligence could be studied in the following way by a functionalist: using an animal as subject to make experiments on mental processes.