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Max Wertheimer

Max Wertheimer

Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) was a Czech psychologist and one of the three founders of Gestalt psychology, along with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka. The main theory behind Gestalt psychology is the human brain has self-organizing tendencies that make it holistic, parallel and analog. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Max Wertheimer that follows your guidelines.

Max Wertheimer's Background

Wertheimer was born in Prague and his educational background is as follows:

  • Enrolled at the University of Berlin where he studied philosophy
  • Obtained his Phd from the University of Würzburg in 1903
  • From 1916 to 1929 he worked at the Berlin Psychological Institute
  • Became a professor at the University of Frankfurt from 1929 to 1933.

However, Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 convinced Wertheimer, who was Jewish, to move his family to the United States. Settling in New York, he taught at the New School for Social Research, where he completed his only book, Productive Thinking, three weeks before dying from a heart attack.

Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Psychology

Wertheimer and his colleagues developed Gestalt psychology in 1910, based on experiments with the phi phenomenon, and optical illusion where one perceives motion between objects in rapid succession. In Wertheimer's experiment, flashing lights cause the retina to perceive them as moving. In Gestalt Theory, perception is the whole of reality, and was put forth as an alternative to behaviorism. Gestalt psychologists seek to study the whole, rather than its component parts.

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