Tag Archives: gestalt psychology

Major Psychological Schools of Thought

psychology logo“Psychology has a long past but only a short history.” With these few words, Hermann Ebbinghaus, one of the great thinkers in psychology, aptly captured the essence of this field’s development. Since time immemorial, men and women have pondered over questions that are psychological in nature. From the early Egyptians to the ancient Greek philosophers, there has been no letup in efforts to understand human thought and behavior. If you were given a psychology homework assignment to document the full history of the field, you would probably be toiling on it for ages. Yet, in spite of its long past, the formal history of psychology dates back only 133 years to 1879 – the year when Wilhelm Wundt opened the doors of the first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany. As a result of this significant move, Wundt is widely regarded as the founder of psychology. He was also the first person to refer to himself as a psychologist. Yet, this was just the beginning of Wundt’s contributions to the field. He went on to become the first of several spirited speakers to engage in an ongoing debate over what should be the focus of psychology. The history of psychology is indeed short, but it has never been short of drama. With that said, let the drama unfold… Continue reading


Development of Social Cognition Part 1: The Impact of Gestalt Psychology

faces or vase. figure and ground.Part 1 – Part 2

Many core tenets of modern day social cognition have their roots in the Gestalt tradition. As an example, let us consider the matter of context. Theory and research within social cognition begins with the knowledge that humans do not exist in vacuums: at any given moment, there are multiple social forces impinging on the individual and these must be given adequate consideration. As such, the importance of context is a theme which runs throughout the entire field of social cognition. Yet this emphasis on context is by no means new. Gestalt psychologists had long recognized its importance decades before and it was their initial interest in this factor which was later built upon in social cognition. Continue reading