Why did their precursors fail and the gestalt psychologists succeed? Reflections on theories and theorists

  • Harry Helson


Those who experienced the first two and a half decades of the Gestalt movement and followed its various developments will remember the excitement and enthusiasm it engendered. More than any other movement in experimental psychology it appeared like a bright meteor lighting up the otherwise dim sky of perceptual theory. In a paper prepared for delivery before the APA but which was not read because of his death, Köhler 2 referred to the excitement and enthusiasm among the early Gestalt group, and this spirit was certainly communicated to many of us before we met and heard him and Wertheimer, Koffka, and Lewin in person. Yet ist was not an altogether easy point of view for non-Germans to unterstand, because it was deeply rooted in German tradition, or rather traditions.


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag, Darmstadt 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Helson

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