Gestalt Archive 1934-1960

Kurt Koffka (1935) - Principles of Gestalt Psychology

Chapter I: Why Psychology?
When I first conceived the plan of writing this book I guessed, though I did not know, how much effort it would cost to carry it out, and what demands it would put on a potential reader. And I doubted, not rhetorically but very honestly and sincerely, ...

Kurt Lewin (1935) - A Dynamic Theory of Personality

First published in Gestalt Theory, Vol. 21, No 3 (Nov. 1999), pp 181-183
New York & London: McGraw-Hill, pp. 239-273.

There is an English translation of some of the contributions of Lewin's Berlin group summarized by Kurt Lewin in this chapter in Joseph de Rivera's book: Field Theory as Human Science (New York: Gardner Press 1976):

  • Maria Rickers-Ovsiankina: The Resumption of Interrupted Activities
  • Anita Karsten: Mental Satiation
  • Georg Schwarz: On Relapses in Relearning
  • Tamara Dembo: The Dynamics of Anger
  • Ferdinand Hoppe: Success and Failure

An summarized English version of

  • Bluma Zeigarnik: On Finished and Unfinished Tasks

was published in Willis D. Ellis' book: A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology (New York: Harcourt-Brace 1938).

pdf-part 1  (pp.239-249), pdf-part 2 (pp.250-261), pdf-part 3   (pp.261-273)

Erwin Levy (1936) - A Case of Mania with its Social Implications

A business man in his forties was brought to a mental hospital as a case of "manic depressive psychosis, manic phase." In short, he had suffered a stroke from which he had recovered quickly, except for some residua which, for practical life, were unimportant. ...


Junius F. BROWN (1937) - Psychoanalysis, Topological Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology

The academic Psychologist who has really studied psychoanalytical theory (and he is a very rare individual), ist apt to be overwhelmed by the systematic complexity of the theory and ... pdf-Download

Kurt Goldstein and Martin Scheerer (1941) - Abstract and Concrete Behavior

First part of the introduction of K. Goldstein & M. Scheerer, Abstract and Concrete Behavior - An Experimental Study With Special Tests.
Psychological Monographs - Vol. 53, No. 2, Whole No. 239

Kurt Lewin (1941) - Theory of Regression in Frustration

Regression has been defined here as a change which is opposite to development. Development includes some or all of the following changes (Chapter I, p. 14): increase in variety of behavior, increase in degree of hierarchical organizations, extension of area of activities and interests ...

Karl Duncker (1941/42)- On Pleasure, Emotion and Striving

At his untimely death, Dr. Karl Duncker of the department of psychology at
Swarthmore College, left his manuscript, which he had intended to be a chapter of a
book on motivation. In editing it, wit h a few minor exceptions ....

Erwin Levy (1943) - Some Aspects of the Schizophrenic Formal Disturbance of Thought

Of late much work has been done in the field of the schizophrenic thought disturbance. In comparing many of these investigations with the concrete clinical material one often has the feeling of a strange contrast between the academic thinness of the former and the full richness of the latter ...

Abraham S. Luchins (1948) - The Role of the Social Field in Psychotherapy

Originally published in: J. Consult. Psychol., 1948, 12, pp. 417-425.
Contemporary psychotherapy - whether directive or nondirective, analytic or nonanalytic, administered in individual or group sessions — usually centers on the dynamics of the individual and on the creation of changes in the individual, rather than on the dynamics of the social field and on the manipulation ....

Abraham S. Luchins & Edith H. Luchins (1959) - Comments on the Concept of Closure

The concept of closure was introduced by WERTHEIMER in his paper on the principles of perceptual organization (1923). Closure was considered as only one of several Gestalt principles of organization, all assuming to be operating in the direction of Prägnanz, a word used by WERTHEIMER to denote a tendency for organization...