Major Movements in Psychology

Gestalt Psychology

What did these studies show?

These studies showed two things. For one, the animals arrived at their solutions only after surveying the entire environment. They did not just focus on a single object but took the entire field into account. Secondly, the problem was not solved through trial and error via rewards and punishments as the behaviorists would have predicted. Instead the animal arrived at a complete solution all at once. In other words, the chimps did not solve problems in a piecemeal fashion, but rather in a holistic way. Köhler referred to this holistic form of problem solving as insight learning.


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