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Changes: Wolfgang Köhler


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*Kohler, W.(1920) ''Mentality of Apes''
*Kohler, W.(1920) ''Mentality of Apes''
*Kohler, W.(1929) ''Gestalt Psychology''
*Kohler, W.(1969) ''Gestalt Psychology''
===Book Chapters===
===Book Chapters===

Revision as of 23:12, April 6, 2011

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Maluma type shape


Takete type shape

Wolfgang Köhler (January 21, 1887, Reval (now Tallinn), Estonia – June 11, 1967, New Hampshire) was a German Gestalt psychologist. In 1909 he received his PhD from the University of Berlin. He became an assistant at the Psychological Institute in Frankfurt, where he worked with Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka.

From 1913 to 1920 he worked at the Anthropoid Station at Tenerife in the Canary Islands. There he wrote his book Mentality of Apes.

From 1922 until 1935 he was chair and director of the psychology institute at the University of Berlin. In 1929 he wrote his book Gestalt Psychology.

In one of his experiments 1929 he presented test participants with two drawings, one with only curved lines and one with only straight lines and angles. The participants were asked to name one of the drawings "Maluma" and the other "Takete" - two nonsense words. An overwhelming majority named the curved one Maluma and the angular one Takete. The test was made with participants from different cultures, which suggests that the preference was a universal one.

In 1935 he moved to the USA and taught at Swarthmore College.

Preceded by:
Harry Harlow
Wolfgang Köhler elected APA President
Succeeded by:
D.O. Hebb

See also



  • Kohler, W.(1920) Mentality of Apes
  • Kohler, W.(1969) Gestalt Psychology

Book Chapters


Köhler,W. (1959) Gestalt Psychology Today American Psychologist, 14, 727-734.Full text APA presidential addresss

External links

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