A Divided Discipline: What Is the Function of Mind?
Elementalism Among these is an elementalist psychology based on the assumption that conscious mind is made up of basic mental elements associated together. Elementalists embrace positivistic research methods. They conduct careful, systematic observations of mental operations and experiment with manipulations of stimuli. They hope to reveal important and previously little understood characteristics of the basic mental elements and to uncover the laws by which the elements are combined or associated into complex thoughts. A few elementalist researchers, notably Wundt, prefer research methods that, they argue, preserve more of the environment or context. Wundt, for example, is concerned that isolating variables of interest away from the context in which they ordinarily occur will not result in useful knowledge.