Gestalt Psychology

  • Benjamin B. Wolman


It has often been said that associationism and conditioning developed the theory of learning, psychoanalysis created the theory of motivation, and gestalt and field theories revolutionized the theory of perception and thinking. Undoubtedly, this statement contains a great deal of truth. The origin of the gestalt theory is connected with the difficulties encountered by traditional associationism in regard to perception and thinking. The associationists believed that (1) perception is a copy of objects, or a “mental image” of what has been perceived, and (2) thinking is a mechanical combination of those images.1 Gestalt psychology challenged both parts of this belief.


Gestalt Psychology Mental Image Dynamic Field Good Continuation Figural Aftereffect 
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1. Opposition to Associationism

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin B. Wolman
    • 1
  1. 1.Long Island UniversityBrooklynUSA

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