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Act and Gesalt Psychology - A comparison

            Act and Gestalt psychology are highly empirical theories based on the German model of mental activity. This brief discourse will present the basic principles of the aforementioned and will further seek to outline the principles involved in psychoanalysis and will examine the differences between the latter and the former theories. .
             Act Psychology.
             Founded by Franz Bretano (1838-1917) Act Psychology surfaced as an expression of psychology centering around the inseparable interaction of the individual and the environment. Act psychology's emergence in 1874 was in part a reaction against structuralism, an influential school of thought in Germany at the time. Brentano's proposal for psychology's progress stand in great contrast to those proposed by structuralist Wundt and Titchener. Act psychology is based on Brentano's ideology of the science of psychic phenomena expressed as acts and processes. It contrasts with the definition of psychology viewed in terms of physical reductionism, consciousness or associationism. Benjafield(1996). .
             Consciousness in terms of a unity of expressed acts is the basis of Brentano's view. He was convinced that psychology was different from other sciences in terms of its study of intentionality, and people's ability to reach for some object-goal beyond themselves. Hergenhahn (1997). Brentano believed (Benjafield 1997) that the psychological act is directed and it is intentional thus facilitating its characteristic of uniqueness and purpose.
             Akin to Wundt's conceptualization of nonmediated experiences, Brentano developed hierarchical level of classes of psychic phenomena and suggested that at the representational level one is able to find the basic or foundational stage of mere awareness, and further one finds a cognitive class which is described as a level of judgment. Brentano vastly examined tha concept of man's inner perception of ongoing acts, and highlighted the significance of "past psychic acts in memory, the observation of the overt behavior of people and the observation of antecedent and physiological processes concomitant to psychological acts.

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