19 November 2010
Wolfgang Kohler’s impact on psychology
Wolfgang Kohler was born in Reval, Estonia in 1887. He attended universities such as Tubingen and Berlin. After completing his PhD, Kohler worked at the Psychological Institute in Frankfurt-am-Main, where he met Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka. Together, they formed a new branch of psychology called Gestalt. Kohler later died on June 11, 1967 in New Hampshire. Kohler’s contribution to psychology was his animal research with apes and Gestalt psychology. Although Koehler’s work is arguable he did make an impact by proving apes can problem solve, helping form a branch of psychology called Gestalt, and showing that animals can see the relationship between stimuli.
Kohler studied chimpanzees from 1913 to 1917. His chimpanzee named Sultan was one of his test subjects and Sultan and other chimpanzees would have to figure out problems that Kohler presented them to reach the reward or food. He proved that chimpanzees can problem solve by giving them to short sticks that they had to combine to make it long enough to reach the food. This demonstrated insight in the chimpanzees. Another experiment he created for Sultan and the other chimpanzees was a banana hanging from the ceiling and they were presented with boxes. The chimpanzees would try to think of a way to reach the banana and they figured out they had to stack the boxes to reach the food. This also demonstrates insight because they figured out the solution to the problem presented.
Gestalt psychology was formed by Kohler, Wertheimer, and Koffka. Gestalt psychology opposed the structuralist view and argued that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Gestalt brought new perceptual ideas to psychology and influenced the areas of cognitive, social, and clinical psychology. Kohler’s perceptual ideas have contributed to the understanding of learning, memory, and the nature of associations. If Kohler was not around during that time;...