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Gestalt Psychology and the Cognitive Revolution Paperback – August, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0133207149 ISBN-10: 0133207145

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Paperback, August, 1995
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From the Back Cover

Although it is often thought that many concepts used by contemporary cognitive psychologists only recently evolved in the realm of modern (post-behavioral) experimental psychology -- their roots actually go back to the Gestalt psychologists in Germany. This book re-examines the role that Gestalt Psychology played in they years leading up to the "cognitive revolution." Discusses the historical relationships connecting behaviorism, Gestalt Psychology, and the development of cognitive psychology. Outlines the main principles of Gestalt Psychology through an account of the intellectual careers of Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, and Wolfgang Kohler, the three leaders of the movement. Provides a detailed outline of Gestalt views on memory and relates them to contemporary theories on memory. Contrasts Gestalt theories of problem solving to the latter views of Herbert Simon and others on thinking. Concludes with a general discussion of the validity of the Gestalt opinion that a comprehensive psychology of cognition needs to incorporate the concepts of distinctiveness, restructuring, goals, and the self. For anyone interested in cognitive science, human memory, or the history of psychology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (August 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133207145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133207149
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,850,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I actually took David Murray's course in Fall 1996 (and got a reasonably good grade so this isn't a "revenge review" :) ). Prof. Murray's thesis is that the Gestalt psychologists (primarily Koffka, Kohler and Wertheimer) anticipated the cognitive revolution of the late 1950s. It's an interesting idea and there are definitely too many similarities between their schools of thought.

The book itself is pretty much average. I found the writing style a bit awkward. There are a lot of good explanations of various experiments. There is quite a lot of history interspersed with the psychology, so it does make for an interesting read, if you're up on these fields. I wouldn't recommend this for the layman but if you're in cognitive psychology it would be worth the read.
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