Experimental psychology arose in the nineteenth century when experimental techniques were applied to the investigation of mental phenomena, especially sensory states. The early applications, at mid-century, included Ernst Heinrich Weber’s and Gustav Fechner’s psychophysical studies of various sensory phenomena and experiments on color perception by Hermann von Helmholtz and others. In the 1880s and 1890s experimental studies multiplied, not only on sensory phenomena but also on reaction times and memory and attention.
Together with this expanded application of experimental techniques came methodological literatures on the new approaches. These included focused critiques of psychophysics and wider discussions of the notion of introspection or self-observation [Selbstbeobachtung] (e.g., [Wundt 1888], [Scripture 1899, chap. 1], [Titchener 1912a,b]).
At first taking its place in German universities—where Wilhelm Wundt and colleagues at Leipzig and Georg Elias Müller and col...