Gestalt, Freudianism, Neo-Freudianism, and Cognitive Psychology


The main idea of the Gestalt (1850-1934) psychology is that consciousness cannot be studied in parts and should be looked at as a whole. Behaviorists criticized Gestalt for the lack of statistics and no numbers when retrieving the results. It is believed that Gestalt psychology took its roots from the study of apparent movement, also known as the Phi phenomenon. As suggested by Wertheimer (1880-1943), its main idea is that the movement cannot be understood by analyzing only parts; it can only be seen if looking at it as a whole.

Kohler (1887-1967) investigated studies about problems, such as problem-solving, easy and hard problems, and insight. Kohler believed that problem-solving is connected with restructuring the environment as a whole where the issue occurred. The insight is a sudden solution to a problem, which, according to Kohler, is considered restructuring the elements of the environment. Lewin (1890-1947) field theory described human behavior in context; he thought that the human’s past, present, and future affect people psychologically. Lewin has also extended the Gestalt study and added the needs, individuality, and social influence.


The school of psychoanalysis focuses on the unconscious, which is usually ignored by the other school of thought. The early ideas of psychopathology included no treatment — in the 1700s, mental illness was viewed as bad behavior, but people were still put into institutions. Vives (1450-1540) was the first to suggest treatment for the mentally ill.

Freud (1856-1939) replaced the conscious and unconscious with the id, ego, and superego. Id is the representation of the unconscious, which represents primary concerns or desires. Superego — the common sense of right and wrong, good and evil. The ego is the attempt to balance Superego and Id. Freud suggested human defense mechanisms in psychology: denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, and reaction formation.


The wave of neo-Freudians emphasized the ego while deemphasizing the id. Anna Freud’s (1895-1982) representation of Freud’s psychology was the primary form of American psychoanalysis. Jung (1875-1961) focused on analytical psychology and the unconscious: personal versus collective unconscious. Personal represents the forgotten or suppressed life experience; collective represents the memory of ancestors. Adler (1870-1937) studied the influence of society on one individual and social psychological theories. Those studies revolved around the behaviors connected with interpersonal relationships, not biologically driven.

Maslow (1908-1970) studied human motivation, which he believed was driven by self-actualization. Maslow suggested that the people who have developed their actualization fully accepted their nature, had a democratic character structure, and was highly interested in creativity. He invented the famous pyramid of the hierarchy of needs, where the lowest level represents physiological needs, and the highest means the need for self-actualization.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology refocused on the mind and consciousness, returning to the discussions of the empiricists. The computer metaphor of the mind is defined as a process of thought treated as a computer program. Miller (1920-2012) and Bruner (1915-2016) were the ones to notice that computers are very similar to human minds. Cognitive Psychology (1967) by Neisser defined a new approach in psychology based on cognition (a process by which “sensory input is transformed, reduced, stored, recovered, and used”).

Phenomenological assessment became the new name for introspection, also changing its procedure: the verbal report does not represent what is happening in the human mind. Information, in conjunction, is used with other information to understand the mind. Evolutionary psychology is defined by the solid biological base (biology is the more decisive influence on behavior) and the process of the fundamental questions about the human mind. The primary impact on evolutionary psychology is Darwin, Seligman, and James.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Gestalt, Freudianism, Neo-Freudianism, and Cognitive Psychology'. 11 April.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Gestalt, Freudianism, Neo-Freudianism, and Cognitive Psychology." April 11, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Gestalt, Freudianism, Neo-Freudianism, and Cognitive Psychology." April 11, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Gestalt, Freudianism, Neo-Freudianism, and Cognitive Psychology." April 11, 2023.