Kurt Koffka

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Kurt Koffka
Born 18 March 1886
Berlin, German Empire
Died 22 November 1941
Northampton, Massachusetts
Nationality German
Known for Gestalt psychology

Kurt Koffka (18 March 1886 – 22 November 1941) was a German psychologist. He was one of the founders of Gestalt psychology.

Koffka was born and educated in Berlin and earned his PhD there in 1909 as a student of Carl Stumpf. Koffka also spent one year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where learnt English, a skill that later served him well. Koffka worked at the University of Frankfurt when Max Wertheimer arrived in 1910 and invited Koffka to take part as a subject in his research on the phi phenomenon.

Koffka left Frankfurt in 1912 to take a position at the University of Giessen, where he worked for over eleven years. Koffka then travelled to the United States, where he was a visiting professor at Cornell University from 1924 to 1925, and two years later at University of Wisconsin–Madison. Eventually, in 1927, he accepted a position at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until his death in 1941.

Major works[change | change source]

  • 1921. Die Grundlagen der psychischen Entwicklung. Osterwieck am Harz, Zickfeldt. ('The growth of the mind').
  • 1922. Perception: an introduction to the Gestalt theory. Psych. Bulletin 19, 531–585.
  • 1924. Growth of the mind: an introduction to child-psychology, transl. R.M. Ogden. 2nd revised edition 1928. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. and New York: Harcourt, Brace.
  • 1935. Principles of gestalt psychology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Advanced textbook, 720 pages.

Other websites[change | change source]