Can someone please describe the social and cultural conditions that led to Gestalt psychology’s disappearance?
Question by megothic1: Can someone please describe the social and cultural conditions that led to Gestalt psychology’s disappearance?
What part did psychoanalysis and behaviorism play in the eventual disappearance of this field of psychology? I really appreciate any assistance given.
Answer by Simon
Hey I see you are running out of time. So here are only a few thoughts/guesses without consulting any references.
Behaviourism – This appealed to the scientific lobby. Why – because it could be demonstrated and was more visible and concrete. It probably interested the military because they used behaviourist principles in research warfare and espionage. Behaviourism could use experiments with animals – I don’t think Gestalt could. Behaviourism lent itself more easily to research. Therefore more conducive to the commercial world.
I think Skinner was one of the behaviorist’s. Behaviourism opened the way for cognitive therapy which probably overtook and later combined with behaviourism (CBT).
Gestalt was German? Maybe out of favour post war.
Well Freud was Austrian wasn’t he and then there was Jung. It seemed to capture the imagination of the public.The iconic image of the patient on the psychiatrists couch. It pandered to middle class women with their “vapours” and faints and “hysterical” behaviour. It was highlighted in the media – movies – literature etc
Maybe both of these were thought to be more scientific than Gestalt. I think they also liked to aly themselves to Darwinian evolution theory. Gestalt was more existential.
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