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The Gestalt Theory and the Problem of Configuration

Nature volume 131, page 604 (29 April 1933) | Download Citation

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Abstract

AMONG the psychological theories, the doctrine of Gestalt or ‘configurationism’ has won general attention only recently, thoughit grew contem poraneously with behaviourism. Its importance, however, is none the less very great in so far as it furnishes an alternative approach to the psycho-physiological problem of human and animal behaviour. The general conception of ‘configurationism’ is to stress organised wholes as they occur in experience and in performance rather than their elements, as does the older psychology. This method makes possible an alternative treatment of behaviour, of perception and even of learning, though the results obtained in this respect are not yet final. The particular value of the book under review is that it not only explains the aims, method and results of the Gestalt theory, but that it also makes a searching criticism of this doctrine, indicating at the same time the conditions for its future progress.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/131604b0

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