Kurt Koffka

German psychologist

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

Kurt Koffka
Born18 March 1886
Died22 November 1941
Known forGestalt 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

  • 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.

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