Max Wertheimer, Czech-born psychologist

Max Wertheimer, Czech-born psychologist

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Max Wertheimer (1880-1943), Czech-born Jewish psychologist. Born in Prague, Wertheimer studied at the universities of Prague, Berlin and Wurzburg and became a professor at Frankfurt and Berlin, placing him at the forefront of contemporary psychology. He discovered the phi phenomenon (concerning the illusion of motion) in 1910-12, a significant step towards the influential school of Gestalt psychology. His collaborative efforts with Wolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka gave rise to this new approach, where the human mind was studied as a whole, instead of being broken down into component parts. Later in life he dedicated his time to the problem of learning and authored Productive Thinking, published posthumously in 1945.

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