2008 Gestalt Anniversaries

130 years ago (1878)

  • Kurt GOLDSTEIN (1878-1965) is born in Kattowitz.
  • Vittorio BENUSSI (1878-1927) is born in Trieste, Italy.


110 years ago (1898)

  • Siegmund Heinrich FOULKES (FUCHS) (1898-1976) is born in Karlsruhe


100 years ago (1908)

  • Kurt KOFFKAs dissertation "Experimentelle Untersuchungen zur Lehre vom Rhythmus" - supervised by Carl STUMPF - is approved by the University of Berlin.
  • Kurt KOFFKA: 'Experimental-Untersuchungen zur Lehre vom Rhythmus', Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 52, pp 1-109.


80 years ago (1918)

  • Wilhelm SALBER is born in Aaachen, Germany.
    The dissertation of Rudolf ARNHEIM - supervised by Wolfgang KÖHLER - "Experimentell-psychologische Untersuchungen zum Ausdrucksproblem" is approved by the University of Berlin (published in Psychologische Forschung, 11, pp 2-132).
  • Two of the famous Berlin dissertations (supervised by Kurt LEWIN and approved in 1927) are published: Anitra KARSTENs dissertation "Über psychische Sättigung" (Psychologische Forschung, 10, 1928, pp 142-254), and Maria OSVIANKINAs dissertation "Die Wiederaufnahme unterbrochener Handlungen" (Psychologische Forschung, 10, 1928, pp 302-379).
  • Wolfgang KÖHLER publishes several articles critically examining RIGNANOs critique of Gestalt theory ("Antwort auf Herrn Rignanos Kritik", Scientia, 43, pp 309-322; "Bemerkungen zur Gestalttheorie. Im Anschluß an Rignanos Kritik", Psychologische Forschung, 11, pp 188-234).
  • Molly R. HARROWER publishes "Gestalt versus Associationism" (Psyche, London, 9, pp 55-71; summarizes the KÖHLER-RIGNANO-debate).
  • Wolfgang METZGER publishes "Certain Implications in the Concept of Gestalt" (American Journal of Psychology, 40, pp 162-166).
  • Fritz KÜNKEL publishes "Einführung in die Charakterkunde" (Leipzig).


70 years ago (1938)

  • Karl DUNCKER (1903-1940) emigrates to the USA and accepts a position as instructor for psychology at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania (which he holds until his death).
  • William McDOUGALL dies.
  • William STERN dies.
  • Wolfgang KÖHLER publishes 'The Place of Value in a World of Facts' (New York: Liveright).
  • Willis D. ELLIS publishes "A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology" (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner) with an introduction by Kurt KOFFKA.
  • Kurt LEWIN publishes "The Conceptual Representation and the Measurement of Psychological Forces" (Contr. Psychol. Theory, Vol. I, Nr. 4, Durham, Duke University Press) and "Experiments on Autocratic and Democratic Atmospheres" (The Social Frontier 4, No. 37, pp 316-319). Together with Ronald LIPPITT he publishes "An Experimental Approach to the Study of Autocracy and Democracy: A Preliminary Note" (Sociometry 1, pp 292-300).
  • Jacob KASANIN and Eugenia HANFMANN publish "An Experimental Study of Concept Formation in Schizophrenia".
  • Lauretta BENDER publishes "A Visual Motor Gestalt Test and its Clinical Use". New York: The American Orthopsychiatric Association.
  • Kai v. FIEANDT publishes "Ein neues Invarianzphänomen der Farbenwahrnehmung" (Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, Series B, vol. 41,2) and "Über Sehen von Tiefengebilden bei wechselnder Beleuchtungsrichtung" (Psychological Institute of the University of Helsinki).

60 years ago (1948)

  • Kurt GOLDSTEIN publishes "Language and Language Disturbances - Aphasic Symptom Complexes and their Significance for Medicine and Theory of Language" (New York: Grune and Stratton).
  • Wolfgang KÖHLER publishes "The Humanists' Sin of Omission" (American Scholar, 17, pp 97-98).
  • "Resolving Social Conflicts", a selection of papers on group dynamics by Kurt LEWIN, is published by editor Gertrud Weiss-Lewin (New York: Harper & Brothers).
  • Abraham S. LUCHINS publishes: "The Role of the Social Field in Psychotherapy" (J. Consult. Psychol, 12, pp 417-425) and "Specialized audio-aids in a group psychotherapy program for psychotics" (J. Consult. Psychol., 12, pp 313-320).
  • Hans WALLACH publishes: "Brightness Constancy and the Nature of Achromatic Colors" (Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38).
  • Sibylle K. ESCALONA publishes "An Application of the Level of Aspiration Experiment to the Study of Personality" (New York: Columbia University Press).


50 years ago (1958)

  • Wolfgang KÖHLER is elected president of the American Psychological Association (APA). He deliveres the Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh. In this year he accepts a position as Research Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College in Hannover, New Hampshire, lasting until 1967.
  • Eino KAILA (1890-1958) dies.
  • Wolfgang KÖHLER publishes "The Present Situation in Brain Physiology" (American Psychologist, 13, pp 150-154), "Perceptual Organization and Learning" (American Journal of Psychology, 71, pp 311-315) and "The Obsessions of Normal People" (Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University). His book "Dynamics in Psychology" (1940) is published in German: "Dynamische Zusammenhänge in der Psychologie" (Stuttgart: Hans Huber).
  • Solomon E. ASCH publishes: "The Metaphor: A Psychological Inquiry" (in: Renato TAGIURI & Luigi PETRULLO (eds) Person Perception and Interpersonal Behavior, Stanford University Press).
  • Rudolf ARNHEIM publishes "Emotion and Feeling in Psychology and Art" (Confinia Psychiatrica, Vol. 1, No. 2).
  • Kai v. FIEANDT publishes "Towards a Unitary Theory of Perception" (Psychological Review, 65, pp 315-320).
  • Michael WERTHEIMER publishes "The Relation between the Sound of a Word and its Meaning" (American Journal of Psychology, 71, pp 412-415).

40 years ago (1968)

  • Wolfgang KÖHLERs "The Place of Values in a World of Facts" (1938) is published in German: "Werte und Tatsachen".
    Solomon E. ASCH publishes "Gestalt Theory" and Abraham S.
  • LUCHINS "Max Wertheimer" in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (6, pp 158-175; 16, pp 522-526).
  • Wolfgang METZGER publishes "Gestaltwahrnehmung" (Naturwissenschaft und Medizin, 5, pp 3-24).
  • Michael WERTHEIMER and F.H. HERRING publish "Individual Differences in Figural Aftereffects: Some Problems and Potentials" (Psychology, 68(2), pp 211-214).
  • Gaetano KANIZSA and G. VICARIO publish "Ricerche sperimentali sulla percezione" (Trieste: Edizioni Università degli Studi).


30 years ago (1978)

  • The international "SOCIETY FOR GESTALT THEORY AND ITS APPLICATIONS (GTA)" is founded with Wolfgang METZGER as its honorary president. Edwin RAUSCH and Mànes SPERBER become honorary members of the GTA.
  • Abraham S. LUCHINS and Edith H. LUCHINS publish "Revisiting Wertheimer's Seminars", Vol. 1: Value, Social Influence and Power; Vol. 2: Problems in Social Psychology (Cranbury, N.J.: Bucknell University Press); Vol. 6: Expression of Personality and Memory for Impressions (Albany: State University of New York Faculty-Student Association).
  • Mary HENLE publishes "Gestalt Psychology and Gestalt Therapy" (Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 14, pp 23-32) and "Kurt Lewin as Metatheorist" (Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 14, pp 233-237).
  • Werner WOLFF publishes "Diagrams of the Unconscious: Handwriting and Personality in Measurement, Experiment and Analysis" (New York: Grune & Stratton).
  • Kai v. FIEANDT and I.K. MOUSGAARD publish "The Perceptual World" (London/New York/San Francisco: Academic Press).


20 years ago (1988)

  • 2.1. Fritz HEIDER (born 1896 in Vienna/Austria) dies in the United States.
  • 24.2. Bluma ZEIGARNIK (born 9.11.1900) dies in Moscow.
  • Anitra KARSTEN (born 1902) dies.
  • Abraham S. LUCHINS publishes "The Rise and Decline of the American Asylum Movement in the 19th Century" (The Journal of Psychology, 122(5), pp 471-486).
  • Paul THOLEY publishes "A Model for Lucidity Training as a Means of Self-Healing and Psychological Growth" (in: J. GACKENBACH & S. LaBERGE (eds), Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain, New York: Plenum Press, pp 263-288).
  • William EPSTEIN publishes "Has Time Come to Rehabilitate Gestalt Theory?" Psychological Research, 50, pp 2-6.