"The basic thesis of gestalt theory might be formulated thus: there are contexts in which what is happening in the whole cannot be deduced from the characteristics of the separate pieces, but conversely; what happens to a part of the whole is, in clearcut cases, determined by the laws of the inner structure of its whole." Max Wertheimer, Gestalt theory.
Social Research, 11 (translation of lecture at the Kant Society, Berlin, 1924).
This site includes biographical profiles of people who have influenced the development of intelligence theory and testing, in-depth articles exploring current controversies related to human intelligence, and resources for teachers.
This is an e-text about the historical and philosophical background of Psychology. It was originally written for the benefit of my students at Shippensburg University, but I hope that it helps anyone with an intellectual interest in the field. The material is original and copyrighted by myself, and any distribution must be accompanied by my name and the copyright information. For personal educational use, it is free to one and all.
Descartes, Bishop Ussher, Hobbes, ... , Locke, Pepys, Perrault
Broughton, Leibniz, Berkeley, ... , La Mettrie, Hartley, Tillotson
This site is dedicated to locating and reporting traces of the history of psychology throughout Europe. It is an outgrowth of several recent trips to Europe, during which I visited sites both well known and obscure. It occurred to me that an index to historical artifacts of psychology could enrich a visit to Europe, and help interested people locate some of the roots of our discipline.
Galton and subsequent investigators find wide divergences in people's subjective reports of mental imagery. Such individual differences might be taken to explain the peculiarly irreconcilable disputes over the nature and cognitive significance of imagery which have periodically broken out among psychologists and philosophers. However, to so explain these disputes is itself to take a substantive and questionable position on the cognitive role of imagery. This article distinguishes three separable issues over which people can be "for" or "against" mental images. Conflation of these issues can lead to theoretical differences being mistaken for experiential differences, even by theorists themselves. This is applied to the case of John B. Watson, who inaugurated a half-century of neglect of image psychology. Watson originally claimed to have vivid imagery; by 1913 he was denying the existence of images. This strange reversal, which made his behaviorism possible, is explicable as a "creative misconstrual" of Dunlap's "motor" theory of imagination.
The Gestalt Archive Gestalt theoretical / Gestalt psychological articles
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A primary distinction that comes to mind when one undertakes to compare gestalten and computers is that computers as instruments by themselves are deprived of consciousness, whereas the cognitive and perceptual processes of gestalten are not. But this distinction does not really hold, because the finest example of a gestalt can operate without consciousness. It is the physiological functions of the human and animal body. The nervous system organizes the complex physical activities of the body as well as its cognitive ones.
Knight Dunlap (1875-1949) has been called the "forgotten man" of American psychology. While some behavior therapists associate his name with "negative practice," he is probably unknown to the majority of psychologists. Although it is highly unlikely that Dunlap will ever be a household name, this page attempts to redress the neglect of Dunlap's many contributions to the history of American psychology.
There are many well known accounts of the history of visual science (some references are given below) but it seems hard to find a simple chronological listing of major events. Sometimes such a list can be helpful in gaining a quick historical perspective. This note presents a chronology listing 133 significant events between 1600 and 1960. In addition, for completeness sake, there is a brief preliminary section that sketches the history of visual science before 1600. All of this material is based on standard secondary sources: the author is not a specialist in the history of science, and the object here is not to contribute anything new to the history of vision research but rather simply to collate material already scattered throughout the literature--though of course the choice of "significant" events is idiosyncratic.