Max Wertheimer (born April 15, 1880 in Prague , † October 12, 1943 in New Rochelle , New York) is considered to be the main founder of Gestalt psychology and Gestalt theory (together with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka ).
Wertheimer received his doctorate in the diagnosis of facts under Oswald Külpe in Würzburg in 1905 . From 1905 to 1912 he conducted private university studies in Berlin, Würzburg, Frankfurt, Prague and Vienna. 1910-1914 worked Wertheimer the basics of Gestalt theory and performed the crucial experiments on the shape of laws with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka in Frankfurt, where he was in 1912 with his experimental studies on seeing movement habilitated . The appearance of this study (see Phi phenomenon ) is generally regarded as the birth of gestalt theory.
After a lectureship (1912-1916) at the University of Frankfurt Wertheimer was from 1916 to 1922 lecturer , then (1922-1929) an associate professor of psychology at the University of Berlin . During this time his friendship with Albert Einstein began . In 1921 Wertheimer founded together with Köhler, Koffka, Kurt Goldstein and the psychiatrist Hans Walter Gruhle the journal Psychological Research , which was to become the main publication organ of Gestalt theory. From 1929 to 1933 Wertheimer was a full professor of psychology at the University of Frankfurt.
In 1933 Max Wertheimer emigrated to the USA via Czechoslovakia in the face of the rising National Socialism , where he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1933 to 1943 . His seminars there influenced numerous American scientists and contributed decisively to the spread of gestalt theoretical thought in the USA.
Max Wertheimer did not publish very much under his own name, but had a decisive influence on many of the works he inspired and guided. These include, for example, the work of Rudolf Arnheim on perception of the person, that of Heinrich Schulte on a theory of paranoia and that of Lauretta Bender (1897–1987) on the Bender-Motor-Gestalt-Test she developed . The prominent students and employees of Max Wertheimer in the USA included Abraham S. Luchins (psychiatrist, pioneer of group therapy) and his former assistant Erwin Levy (psychologist, psychoanalyst and psychiatrist).
Max Wertheimer was married to Anna, née Caro (born June 16, 1901 in Landsberg an der Warthe). Until they escaped, the couple lived at Mainzer Landstrasse 187/189 in Frankfurt am Main.
- Experimental investigations for the diagnosis of facts . In: Archives for the whole of psychology . Volume 6, 1905, pp. 59-131.
- Music of the Wedda . In: Edited volumes of the international music society . Volume 11, Leipzig 1910, pp. 300-309.
- About the thinking of primitive peoples. I. Numbers and structures . In: Journal of Psychology . Volume 60, 1912, pp. 321-378. [English translation in DN Robinson (Ed.): Significant Contributions to the History of Psychology. Series A. Orientations , Volume II, University Publications of America, Washington DC 1977]
- Experimental studies on seeing movement (PDF; 9.0 MB) . In: Journal of Psychology . Volume 61, 1912, pp. 161-265. [English translation in T. Shipley (Ed.): Classics in Psychology . Philosophical Library, New York 1961; new complete translation in On Perceived Motion and Figural Organization (Edited by Lothar Spillmann and Michael Wertheimer) 2012]
- About final processes in productive thinking . Weltkreisverlag, Berlin 1920 [Abridged English version in WD Ellis (Ed.): A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology . Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, London, pp. 274–282]
- Investigations into the theory of shape. I. General remarks . In: Psychological Research . Volume 1, 1922, pp. 47-58. [Abridged English version in WD Ellis (Ed.): A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology . Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, London pp. 71–88.] Reprint 2017 in the journal Gestalt Theory .
- Comments on Hillebrandt's theory of stroboscopic movements . In: Psychological Research . Volume 3, 1923, pp. 106-123.
- Investigations into the theory of shape. II. In: Psychological Research . Volume 4, 1923, pp. 301-350. [English translation 2012 in: On Perceived Motion and Figural Organization (Edited by Lothar Spillmann and Michael Wertheimer)].
- Three papers on gestalt theory . Publishing house of the Philosophical Academy, Erlangen 1925.
- About Gestalt theory . In: Symposium . Volume 1, 1927, pp. 39-60.
- Gestalt psychological research . In: E. Saupe (Ed.): Introduction to the newer psychology . Osterwieck am Harz 1928.
- The problem of differentiating between individual content and part . In: Journal of Psychology . Volume 129, 1933, pp. 353-357.
- On truth . In: Social Research . Volume 1, 1934, pp. 135-146. [Reprinted in M. Henle (Ed.): Documents of Gestalt Psychology , 1961]
- Some problems in the theory of ethics . In: Social Research . Volume 2, 1935, pp. 353-367. [Reprinted in M. Henle (Ed.): Documents of Gestalt Psychology . 1961]
- Discussion [of: Lauretta Bender, Gestalt Function In Visual Motor Patterns In Organic Disease Of The Brain] . In: Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry . Volume 33, 1935, pp. 328-329.
- A story of three days . In: RN Anshen (ed.): Freedom. Its meaning . Harcourt, Brace, New York 1940. [Reprinted in M. Henle (Ed.): Documents of Gestalt Psychology . 1961]
- Gestalt theory . In: Social Research . Volume 11, 1944, pp. 78-99.
- Productive thinking . Harper, New York 1945.
- Productive thinking . (German translation of Productive Thinking by Wolfgang Metzger ). Kramer, Frankfurt 1957.
- On discrimination experiments . (Edited by Lise Wertheimer). Psychological Review . Volume 66, 1959, pp. 252-266.
- A story of three days . (German translation of A story of three days by Hans-Jürgen Walter). In: Gestalt Theory . Volume 11, 1989, pp. 68-78.
- On the Gestalt psychology of human values . Hans-Jürgen Walter , Ed., With an introduction by Albert Einstein (German translations of A story of three days, Some problems in the theory of ethics, On Truth .), Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1991.
- On Perceived Motion and Figural Organization (Edited by Lothar Spillmann and Michael Wertheimer). MIT-Press 2012, ISBN 978-0-262-01746-6 . Contains the English translations of Wertheimer's pioneering work on seeing movement in 1912 and the investigations into the theory of shape in 1923
In 1996, the University of Haifa and the Technion (also based in Haifa) set up the multidisciplinary Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance , named after him , which was carried out in cooperation between researchers from the two Israeli institutions and German colleagues from the Minerva Foundation and the Max Planck Society supports projects in the field of human perception and performance.
- Kurt Guss (ed.): Wertheimer's window. Gestalt theoretical colloquium. Publishing house of the Ostwestfalen-Akademie, Borgentreich 2018, ISBN 978-3-947435-13-5 .
- Kurt Guss (ed.): Berlin School. Gestalt theoretical colloquium. Publishing house of the Ostwestfalen Academy. Borgentreich 2018, ISBN 978-3-947435-12-8 .
- Kurt Guss (ed.): Psychological research. Years 1922–1938. Publishing house of the Ostwestfalen Academy. Borgentreich 2018, ISBN 978-3-947435-14-2 .
- D. Brett King and Michael Wertheimer: Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Theory. Transaction Publishers, 2005, ISBN 978-0-7658-0258-3 .
- Viktor Sarris: Reflections on the gestalt psychologist MW and his work. Forgotten and remembered again . In: The exodus from Nazi Germany and the consequences. Jewish scientists in exile. Edited by Marianne Hassler. Attempto, Tübingen 1997, ISBN 3-89308-265-4 .
- Viktor Sarris: Max Wertheimer in New York. On the 50th anniversary of Productive Thinking (1945). In: Psychological Rundschau . Volume 47, Hogrefe, Göttingen 1996, pp. 137-145.
- Viktor Sarris: Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt - the beginning and structural crisis of Gestalt psychology. Pabst, Lengerich / Berlin / Vienna 1995, 100 pages, ISBN 3-928057-79-0 .
- Literature by and about Max Wertheimer in the catalog of the German National Library
- Anthology in full text: Max Wertheimer: On the Gestalt psychology of human values (PDF; 1.6 MB)
- Wertheimer's son Michael Wertheimer remembers his father (in English)
- The Max Wertheimer Page ( Memento from December 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Max Wertheimer (1924) About Gestalt Theory
- Understanding Psychotics' Speech - from the Max Wertheimer Seminars at the New School of Social Research
- Anonymous: Tax profiles and confiscation of assets . In: Official Gazette of the Reich Finance Administration . tape 17 , 1935, pp. 174 .
- see Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Psychologist and co-founder of Gestalt psychology and Gestalt theory|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 15, 1880|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Prague|
|DATE OF DEATH||October 12, 1943|
|Place of death||New Rochelle|