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Gestalt revolt

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, ­- this is the main principle for Gestalt psychology. Functionalists made emphasis on experience analysis of an individual on the basis of his attitude to the learning process, because in such a way an individual is getting accustomed for the environment. Structuralists claimed that not the whole, but an element is crucial for the mind’s structure. Their favorite method, introspection, is in contradiction with the methods implied by Gestalt psychologists (Köhler).
Thus, Gestalt psychology occurred in 20s in Germany and it was a new vision of psychological analysis. Germans started invading America and attracting the American psychologists. In Germany this school has substituted structuralism and in America it started its struggle against behaviorism, which was very popular those days. Thus, popularity of Behaviorism impeded Gestalt psychology from expansion in America.
Gestalt psychologists started protesting against behaviorism. The main criticisms of behaviorism made by Gestatltists were reductionist and atomist nature of Behaviorism; artificial associations implied in Behaviorism (S-R) prevented natural development of mental processes (Köhler). Moreover, Behaviorists discarded consciousness from their field of study and their experiments were mainly conducted on animals, which was not acceptable for Gestaltists.
As far as we can see, the basic concepts of Gestalt psychology are focused on reality of a current process and not on imagined processes. Gestalt therapy answers to the question “What is it?” and not “What should it be?” Thus, behaviorist principles were not supported by Gestaltists because of their experimental nature. Thus, in accordance with Gestalt psychology it is better to be aware, to perceive and to feel and not to interpret or reconsider previous experiences. Gestalt psychologists communicate with their patients and in the process of dialogues patients have a ...Show more

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The ideas of newly developed Gestalt psychology differed from the accepted and approved ideas of functionalist and structuralist psychologies. The Fathers of…
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