Begginings of Gestalt Psychology in America : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

I was curious about Gestalt Psyc in America, can someone answer any of the following questions: What factors slowed the acceptance of Gestalt psychology in North America? What are the criticisms of the system? What was the spirit of the times when gestalt came into North America? What has happened with Gestalt today?

-- f. alden (, April 10, 2003


You should be able to answer these questions if you read a chapter on Gestalt Psychology in a standard History of Psychology textbook. Especially useful are the readings in Ludy Benjamin's A History of Psychology: Original Sources and Contemporary Research.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (, April 11, 2003.

There is an excellent article about Clark Hull's fears over the prospect of Gestalt being popular in North America, and his strenuous attempts to stop it. The article depends mainly, as I recall, on letters between Hull and Ken Spence. It is by Jon Mills and appeared in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences back in about 1987 or '88.

Apart from this, however, Americans were, in the main, unfamiliar with and unreceptive to the German philosophy in which Gestalt psychology was grounded. You might have a look at Mitchell Ash's book on the origins of Gestalt psychology (published in the mid-1990s, I think.

-- Christopher Green (, April 11, 2003.

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