Wera Mahler

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Wera Friedchen Mahler , née Wera Friedchen Franck , (born October 12, 1899 in Hamburg ; † September 14, 1991 in Tel Aviv ) was a German-Jewish psychologist who worked for Kurt Lewin at Humboldt University in Berlin . She was best known for her pioneering work on the psychology of substitute action .

life and work

Wera Friedchen Mahler (née Franck) studied philosophy, psychology, physiology and art history at the Universities of Freisburg im Breisgau, Marburg and Berlin. In 1933, Kurt Lewin and Wolfgang Köhler accepted her dissertation on the subject of "substitute actions of various degrees of reality" .

In this research work, Mahler investigated the question of which types of substitute actions are suitable for discharging tense systems and thus can neutralize the tendency to resume unfinished actions ( ovsiankina effect ). Just thinking or talking turned out to be less effective than carrying out another action, especially if this was in a certain relationship to the original intention to act or the goal pursued with it. Mahler was not only able to empirically test the corresponding hypotheses of psychoanalysis , but also gave important suggestions for further motivation research with her research .

At the time of National Socialism , Mahler emigrated to Palestine in 1938 , where she initially earned her living with various non-professional activities. It was only from 1963 that she was able to work in a university setting, as a lecturer at the then newly founded Tel Aviv University .

Subsequently, Mahler turned to individual psychology and worked with Rudolf Dreikurs . In 1999 she accepted honorary membership of the International Society for Gestalt Theory and Its Applications (GTA).

From and about Wera Mahler

  • Wera Mahler 1933: Substitute actions of various degrees of reality . Psychological Research 18 (1/2), pp. 27–89. (Reprinted in 1993: Gestalt Theory, 15 (2).
  • Wera Mahler 1996: In Memory of my Teacher, Kurt Lewin . Psychology and History 7, pp. 268-276.
  • Wera Mahler as translator 1980: Hertzog, Gila & Barnea-Braunstein, Rachel, "Beroschim", a school for mentally disturbed children . Munich [u. a.]. Reinhardt. ISBN 3497009393
  • Karl-Hermann Schäfer 1993: Psychoanalytical follow-up remarks on "Substitute acts of various degrees of reality" by Wera Mahler, Gestalt Theory, 15 (2), pp. 143-145.
  • H.-J. Walter 1996: Wera Mahler - a psychologist from Germany. Gestalt Theory, 18 , pp. 187-200.
  • J. Pastor, C. Civera & F. Tortosa 2000: Wera Mahler (1899–1991): Una psicóloga alemana y un ejemplo de tesón ante la adversidad. Revista de Historia de la Psicología, 21 (2-3), p. 597-612 (in Spanish).
  • Uwe Wolfradt & Helmut E. Lück : Wera Mahler. In: German-speaking psychologists 1933–1945. A dictionary of persons. Springer, 2014, p. 298f.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfradt / Lück 2014, Wera Mahler. In: German-speaking psychologists 1933–1945: Ein Personenlexikon , Springer, p. 298.
  2. see Honorary Members of the GTA , accessed on March 25, 2015