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The Mentality of Apes

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By: Wolfgang Köhler(Author), Jaan Valsiner(Introduction By)

386 pages, b/w illustrations

Transaction Books

Paperback | 2013 reprint | Jan 1925 [2013 reprint] | #219180 | ISBN: 0415864372
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £37.99 $48/€43 approx
Paperback | 2017 reprint | 2017 | #236386 | ISBN-13: 9781412865401
Available for pre-order: Due Oct 2017 Details
NHBS Price: £32.99 $42/€37 approx
Hardback | 1999 reprint | Jan 1925 [1999 reprint] | #219224 | ISBN: 041520979X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £225.00 $287/€255 approx

About this book

Wolfgang Köhler (1887-1967) demonstrated that chimpanzees could solve problems by applying insight. His research showed that the intellectual gap between humans and chimpanzees was much narrower than previously thought. The work was revolutionary when originally published in 1917 in German, but it was largely ignored for decades because it violated the conventional wisdom that animal behavior is simply the result of instinct or conditioning. However, Köhler's research showed this was not the case. He used four chimps in his experiments, Chica, Grande, Konsul, and Sultan. The experiments consisted of placing chimpanzees in an enclosed area and presenting them with a desired object that was out of reach. In one experiment, Köhler placed bananas outside Sultan's cage and two bamboo sticks inside his cage which needed to be put together to reach the bananas. Köhler demonstrated the solution to Sultan by putting his fingers into the end of one of the sticks. After some contemplation, Sultan put the two sticks together and was able to reach the bananas.

The 2017 version published by Transaction Publishers adds an introduction by Jaan Valsiner, in which he shows that Köhler's analysis of the intelligence of apes marked a turning point in the psychology of thinking and the continuing struggle between behaviorism and cognitive psychology. Köhler achieved his two-fold aim: to determine the relationship between the intellectual capacity of higher primates and man, and to gain insight into the nature of intelligent acts


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Biography

Wolfgang Köhler (1887-1967) was a noted German psychologist and major contributor to the creation of Gestalt psychology. Jaan Valsiner is Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark.

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