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Henry J. Watt

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Henry J. Watt (1879-1925) was a student of Oswald Külpe and part of the Würzburg School. He pioneered the importance of mental set in problem solving, what he referred to as “einstellung” or “task mental set”.

Watt's dissertation was on thought processes and problem solving (Experimentelle Beitrage zu einer Theorie des Denkens, 1904); Watt called the paper "Experimental Contribution to a Theory of Thinking" an "abstract" of his dissertation. Watt also proposed an alternative to Sigmund Freud's method of dream interpretation.


Watt, H. J. (1906) Experimental Contribution to a Theory of Thinking. Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, 40(3), 257–266.

Watt, H. J. (1929) The Commonsense of Dreams. International University Series in Psychology. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.

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