Who is Wolfgang Köhler?

Who is Wolfgang Köhler?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

He is a German-born American psychologist.

He is known for his contribution to Gestalt psychology and for his experiments on chimpanzees.

He was born on 21 January 1887 in Reval (today Tallinn in Estonia) and died on 11 June 1967 in Enfield, New Hampshire, USA. Köhler, who immigrated to Germany with his family at the age of five, received secondary education in Wolfenbüttel, continued his higher education, which he started in Tübingen, at Bonn University, and received his doctorate from Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Berlin in 1909. He met with Wertheimer and Koffka, with whom he would later pioneer the Gestalt psychology movement, at Frankfurt University, where he entered as an assistant and became an associate professor in 1911.

In 1913 he went to Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, to conduct research. With the outbreak of the First World War a year later, he remained there until 1920, where he studied the learning ability of chimpanzees at the Prussian Academy of Sciences’ research station on the island. In 1921 he became the director of the Institute of Psychology and professor of philosophy at the University of Berlin. In the 1930s, when the National Socialist movement, which he openly opposed, gained strength and increased its pressure, he settled in the USA in 1935 and became a psychology professor at Swarthmore College. He became a US citizen in 1946 and was elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1947. After retiring in 1955, Köhler continued his studies at Princeton University between 1955 and 1956, and at Dartmouth College after 1958.

Also please see:

– Köhler and Gestalt theory and insight

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook