The Theories Of Gestalt Psychology

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History of Gestalt Gestalt Psychology began when behaviorism was taking off in America. Behaviorism began their school of psychology by opposing the work of Wundt and began the use of animals in research. But Gestalt psychology is primarily based on the fundamentals of Wundtian theory, which are the sensory elements. The founder of Gestalt was none other than Wolfgang Kohler. Within Gestalt, it was “accepted the value of consciousness while criticizing the attempt to reduce it to atoms or elements” (Schultz & Shultz 2012 p. 262). By accepting consciousness as a factor, new doors are opened as possibilities of the way the mind interacts with perception and sensory elements. Gestalt is more about what is perceived than the sensory…show more content…
Kant is a philosopher, which makes one of the antecedents of Gestalt to be philosophy. Some of Kant’s views were that “elements are organized meaningfully not through some mechanical process of association” (Shultz & Shultz 2012 p.264). This is to say that the mind is able to process the characteristics and basics of an image or structure before it and process it as if there was a complex puzzle that needed to be solved and from there on out, the mind knows it to be as a whole image. It’s the brain placing two and two together to make four. An object does not change but the viewpoint does. Mathematics also began Gestalt through Ernst Mach. According to Mach there are patterns and melodies that could potentially be formed into a sensation perceived by the conscious, for example a circle could be various colors or various sizes, but it never loses it’s circularity (Shultz & Shultz 2012 p. 264). Another discipline that preceded Gestalt psychology would be Phenomenology, which is known as the “unbiased description of an immediate experience” (Shultz & Shultz 2012 p. 264). With this discipline, individuals would not reduce the experience, which they have just experienced and would be described as it occurred. Major Positions The use of insight, perceptual constancy (continuity, figure/ground, similarity, etc.), life space, Isomorphism, and more are what make up Gestalt. As mentioned
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