Psychology: The field of psychology experienced a specific shift in its development thanks to the school of psychology developed in Vienna by S. Freud. This school focused on the exploration of human psychodynamics and of psychological pathologies, and the treatment of these conditions using psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. A. Adler, the founder of individual psychology, is regarded as a member of this school, although he distanced himself from Freud's views later on. The strictly methodical experimental approach founded by H. Rohracher also derived from this particular school. In 1902 a group supporting Freud's views was formed which spawned the Vienna Psychoanalytic Organisation in 1910; members included A. Adler, W. Stekel, R. Reitler, M. Kahane, P. Federn and O. Rank.
The physicist E. Mach is regarded as a forerunner of Gestalt psychology. His work on the physiology of sensation, which stressed natural science aspects and dealt primarily with the perception of light or dark bands around the boundaries between areas of sharply differing illumination and the analysis of the sensation of movement, is considered revolutionary.
In addition to the Vienna School of S. Freud, a Graz School of Gestalt Psychology, founded by A. Meinong (a student of F. Brentano), sprang up. Meinong also established the Laboratory of Psychology at the University of Graz in 1894, which attracted numerous important personalities in the field of psychology during its nearly 40 years of existence, such as S. Witasek, V. Benussi, R. Ameseder, W. M. Frankl, E. Martinak, E. Mally and F. Weber. The Graz school, often referred to as the Austrian school, was influenced by C. v. Ehrenfels, who was inspired by E. Mach to write his famous treatise "Über Gestaltqualitäten" ("On the Qualities of Gestalt"). In contemporary psychology, the works of V. Frankl, the founder logotherapy, whose main objective was to treat patients by helping them search for meaning in life, have been particularly noteworthy. The research of E. Ringel in particular, on suicide and suicide prevention has also earned international recognition, as well as research on the psychology of communication conducted by P. Watzlawick.
Literature: H. Meng, Psychoanalyse und Kultur, 1965; P. Nitzschke, Die reale Innenwelt, 1978; E. Lück (ed.), Illustrierte Geschichte der Psychologie, 1993; E. Friedl, Der Wille zur Normalität, 1994.