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Gestalt psychology (also Gestalt theory of the Berlin School) is a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies; or, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The classic Gestalt example is a soap bubble, whose spherical shape is not defined by a rigid template, or a mathematical formula, but rather it emerges spontaneously by the parallel action of surface tension acting at all points in the surface simultaneously. This is in contrast to the "atomistic" principle of operation of the digital computer, where every computation is broken down into a sequence of simple steps, each of which is computed independently of the problem as a whole. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In some scholarly communities (e.g., cognitive psychology, computational neuroscience), Gestalt theories of perception are criticized for being descriptive rather than explanatory in nature. For this reason, Gestalt principles are viewed by some as redundant or uninformative. [1] In other fields (eg. perceptual psychology and visual display design), Gestalt principles continue to be used and discussed today. The Berlin School of experimental psychology was headed by Carl Stumpf (a pupil of Franz Brentano and Rudolf Hermann Lotze), who became professor at the University of Berlin where he founded the Berlin laboratory of experimental psychology (in 1893). ... The Earth seen from Apollo 17. ... Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... Computational neuroscience is an interdisciplinary science that links the diverse fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, electrical engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics. ... Perceptual psychology - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Contents

Origins

Although Max Wertheimer is credited as the founder of the movement, the concept of Gestalt was first introduced in contemporary philosophy and psychology by Christian von Ehrenfels (a member of the School of Brentano). The idea of Gestalt has its roots in theories by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant, and Ernst Mach. Wertheimer's unique contribution was to insist that the Gestalt is perceptually primary, defining the parts of which it was composed, rather than being an "additional" element over and above the components parts, as von Ehrenfels earlier Gestalt-qualität had been. Max Wertheimer (Prague, April 15, 1880 - New York, October 12, 1943) was one of the founders of Gestalt psychology. ... Christian Freiherr von Ehrenfels (June 2, 1859 in Rodaun near Vienna - September 8, 1932 in Lichtenau), Austrian philosopher, is known as one of the founders and precursors of Gestalt psychology. ... The School of Brentano refers to the philosophers and psychologists who studied with Franz Brentano and were essentially influenced by him. ... Goethe redirects here. ... Kant redirects here. ... Ernst Mach Ernst Mach (February 18, 1838 – February 19, 1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher and is the namesake for the Mach number and the optical illusion known as Mach bands. ...


Both von Ehrenfels and Edmund Husserl seem to have been inspired by Mach's work Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen (Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations, 1886), in formulating their very similar concepts of Gestalt and Figural Moment, respectively. Christian Freiherr von Ehrenfels (June 2, 1859 in Rodaun near Vienna - September 8, 1932 in Lichtenau), Austrian philosopher, is known as one of the founders and precursors of Gestalt psychology. ... Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ...


Early 20th century theorists, such as Kurt Koffka, Max Wertheimer, and Wolfgang Köhler (students of Carl Stumpf) saw objects as perceived within an environment according to all of their elements taken together as a global construct. This 'gestalt' or 'whole form' approach sought to define principles of perception -- seemingly innate mental laws which determined the way in which objects were perceived. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Kurt Koffka (Berlin, March 18, 1886 - 1941) was a Gestalt psychologist. ... Max Wertheimer (Prague, April 15, 1880 - New York, October 12, 1943) was one of the founders of Gestalt psychology. ... Maluma type shape Takete type shape Wolfgang Köhler (January 21, 1887, Reval (now Tallinn), Estonia – June 11, 1967, New Hampshire) was a German Gestalt psychologist. ... Carl Stumpf (21 April 1848 - 25 December 1936) was a philosopher and psychologist. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...


These laws took several forms, such as the grouping of similar, or proximate, objects together, within this global process. Although Gestalt has been criticized for being merely descriptive, it has formed the basis of much further research into the perception of patterns and objects (ref: Carlson, Buskist & Martin, 2000), and of research into behavior, thinking, problem solving and psychopathology.


Theoretical framework and methodology

The investigations developed at the beginning of the 20th century, based on traditional scientific methodology, divided the object of study into a set of elements that could be analyzed separately with the objective of reducing the complexity of this object. Contrary to this methodology, the school of Gestalt practiced a series of theoretical and methodological principles that attempted to redefine the approach to psychological research.


The theoretical principles are the following:

  • Principle of Totality - The conscious experience must be considered globally (by taking into account all the physical and mental aspects of the individual simultaneously) because the nature of the mind demands that each component be considered as part of a system of dynamic relationships.
  • Principle of psychophysical isomorphism - A correlation exists between conscious experience and cerebral activity.

Based on the principles above the following methodological principles are defined: Psychophysics is the branch of psychology dealing with the relationship between physical stimuli and their perception. ... In Gestalt psychology, isomorphism refers to a correspondence between a stimulus array and the brain state created by that stimulus. ... Positive linear correlations between 1000 pairs of numbers. ... Human brain In animals, the brain (enkephale) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ...

  • Phenomenon Experimental Analysis - In relation to the Totality Principle any psychological research should take as a starting point phenomena and not be solely focused on sensory qualities.
  • Biotic Experiment - The School of Gestalt established a need to conduct real experiments which sharply contrasted with and opposed classic laboratory experiments. This signified experimenting in natural situations, developed in real conditions, in which it would be possible to reproduce, with higher fidelity, what would be habitual for a subject.

For the financial services company, see Fidelity Investments. ...

Properties

The key principles of Gestalt systems are emergence, reification, multistability, and invariance.[citation needed]


Emergence

Emergence
Emergence

Emergence is demonstrated by the perception of the Dog Picture, which depicts a Dalmatian dog sniffing the ground in the shade of overhanging trees. The dog is not recognized by first identifying its parts (feet, ears, nose, tail, etc.), and then inferring the dog from those component parts. Instead, the dog is perceived as a whole, all at once. However, this is a description of what happens in vision and not an explanation. Gestalt theory does not explain how the percept of a dog emerges.
Image File history File links The Dog Picture is familiar in vision circles as a demonstration of emergence in perception. ... Image File history File links The Dog Picture is familiar in vision circles as a demonstration of emergence in perception. ... A termite cathedral mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature. ... The Dalmatian is a breed of dog, noted for its white coat with either black or liver spots. ...


Reification

Reification
Reification

Reification is the constructive or generative aspect of perception, by which the experienced percept contains more explicit spatial information than the sensory stimulus on which it is based. Image File history File links Demonstration of reification in perception from Lehar S. (2003) The World In Your Head, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ. p. ... Image File history File links Demonstration of reification in perception from Lehar S. (2003) The World In Your Head, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ. p. ... Reification, also called hypostatization, is treating a concept, an abstraction, as if it were a real, concrete thing. ...


For instance, a triangle will be perceived in picture A, although no triangle has actually been drawn. In pictures B and D the eye will recognise disparate shapes as "belonging" to a single shape, in C a complete three-dimensional shape is seen, where in actuality no such thing is drawn.


Reification can be explained by progress in the study of illusory contours, which are treated by the visual system as "real" contours. Illusory contours are basically contours that our mind perceives as actually being present in an object we view, when in reality, it isnt really there. ...


See also: Reification (fallacy) Reification (also known as hypostatization or concretism) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it represented a concrete, real event or physical entity. ...




Multistability

Multistability
Multistability

Multistability (or multistable perception) is the tendency of ambiguous perceptual experiences to pop back and forth unstably between two or more alternative interpretations. This is seen for example in the Necker cube, and in Rubin's Figure / Vase illusion shown to the right. Other examples include the 'three-pronged widget' and artist M.C. Escher's artwork and the appearance of flashing marquee lights moving first one direction and then suddenly the other. Again, Gestalt does not explain how images appear multistable, only that they do. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Multistability is a system property. ... Examples of visually ambiguous patterns. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Impossible cube. ... Rubins vase (sometimes known as the Rubin face or the Figure-ground vase) is a famous set of cognitive optical illusions developed around 1915 by the Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin. ... Hand with Reflecting Sphere (Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror), 1935. ... Apollo Theater marquee, c. ...




Invariance

Invariance
Invariance

Invariance is the property of perception whereby simple geometrical objects are recognized independent of rotation, translation, and scale; as well as several other variations such as elastic deformations, different lighting, and different component features. For example, the objects in A in the figure are all immediately recognized as the same basic shape, which are immediately distinguishable from the forms in B. They are even recognized despite perspective and elastic deformations as in C, and when depicted using different graphic elements as in D. Computational theories of vision, such as those by David Marr have had more success in explaining how objects are classified. Image File history File links Demonstration of invariance in perception from Lehar S. (2003) The World In Your Head, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ. p. ... Image File history File links Demonstration of invariance in perception from Lehar S. (2003) The World In Your Head, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ. p. ... Invariant may have meanings invariant (computer science), such as a combination of variables not altered in a loop invariant (mathematics), something unaltered by a transformation invariant (music) invariant (physics) conserved by system symmetry This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share... David Marr (January 19, 1945 - November 17, 1980) was a British psychologist. ...


Web-based forums and email providers rely on invariance of human perception to prevent automated bots from exploiting the services. A CAPTCHA test presents a distorted image of letters and numbers, not readable by computers, and prompts user to correctly type the string. Internet bots, also known as web robots, WWW robots or simply bots, are software applications that run automated tasks over the internet. ... Early CAPTCHAs such as these, generated by the EZ-Gimpy program, were used on Yahoo. ...


Emergence, reification, multistability, and invariance are not separable modules to be modeled individually, but they are different aspects of a single unified dynamic mechanism.


Prägnanz

The fundamental principle of gestalt perception is the law of prägnanz (German for conciseness) which says that we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. Gestalt psychologists attempt to discover refinements of the law of prägnanz, and this involves writing down laws which hypothetically allow us to predict the interpretation of sensation, what are often called "gestalt laws". These include:

Law of Closure
Law of Closure
Law of Similarity
Law of Similarity
Law of Proximity
Law of Proximity
  • Law of Closure — The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure (i.e., to increase regularity).
  • Law of Similarity — The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness.
  • Law of Proximity — Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality.
  • Law of Symmetry — Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance.
  • Law of Continuity — The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns.
  • Law of Common Fate — Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit.

Image File history File links Leyes de la gestalt, ley de cierre File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ... Image File history File links Leyes de la gestalt, ley de cierre File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ... Image File history File links Gestalt, ley de semejanza File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ... Image File history File links Gestalt, ley de semejanza File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ... Image File history File links Leyes de la gestalt, ley de proximidad File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ... Image File history File links Leyes de la gestalt, ley de proximidad File links The following pages link to this file: Gestalt psychology ...

Gestalt views in psychology

Main article: Gestalt views in psychology

Gestalt psychologists find it is important to think of problems as a whole. Max Wertheimer considered thinking to happen in two ways: productive and reproductive.[2]
Productive thinking- is solving a problem with insight.
Reproductive thinking-is solving a problem with previous experiences and what is already known. (1945/1959)


Other Gestalts psychologist Perkins believes insight deals with three processes:
1) Unconscious leap in thinking. [2].
2) The increased amount of speed in mental processing.
3) The amount of short-circuiting which occurs in normal reasoning. [3]


Other views going against the Gestalts psychology are:
1) Nothing-Special View
2) Neo-Gestalts View
3) The Three-Process View
The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...


Gestalt laws continue to be play an important role in current psychological research on vision. For example, the object-based attention hypothesis[4] states that elements in a visual scene are first grouped according to Gestalt principles; consequently, further attentional resources can be allocated to particular objects.


Relationship to Gestalt therapy

Gestalt psychology should not be confused with the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls, which is only peripherally linked to Gestalt psychology. A strictly Gestalt psychology-based therapeutic method is Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy, developed by the German Gestalt psychologist and psychotherapist Hans-Jürgen Walter. Gestalt Therapy is an existential and experiential psychotherapy that focuses on the individuals experience in the present moment, the therapist-client relationship, the environmental and social contexts in which these things take place, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of the overall situation. ... Friedrich (Frederick) Salomon Perls (July 8 1893, Berlin - March 14, 1970, Chicago), better known as Fritz Perls, was a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist of Jewish descent. ... Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy is a method of psychotherapy based strictly on Gestalt psychology. ... Hans-Jürgen P. Walter (* March 25, 1944 in Weidenhausen, Germany) is a German psychologist and psychotherapist known as the main founder of Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy. ...


Applications in computer science

The Gestalt laws are used in user interface design. The law of similarity and law of proximity can for example be used as guides for placing radio buttons. Gestalt psychology also has applications in computer vision for trying to make computers "see" the same things as humans do. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A group of radio buttons, with one choice selected, in Windows XP A pair of radio buttons in Apples Mac OS X A radio button is a type of graphical user interface widget that allows the user to choose one of a predefined set of options. ... Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. ...


Criticism

A notable weakness with the Gestalt laws of Prägnanz is that they are descriptive not explanatory. For example, one cannot explain how humans see continuous contours by simply stating that the brain "prefers good continuity". Computational models of vision have had more success in explaining visual phenomena. Regarding Gestalt influence on the study of visual perception, Bruce, Green & Georgeson conclude: Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Computational neuroscience is an interdisciplinary science that links the diverse fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, electrical engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics. ...

"The physiological theory of the Gestaltists has fallen by the wayside, leaving us with a set of descriptive principles, but without a model of perceptual processing. Indeed, some of their "laws" of perceptual organisation today sound vague and inadequate. What is meant by a "good" or "simple" shape, for example?" [1]

See also

Gestalt Therapy is an existential and experiential psychotherapy that focuses on the individuals experience in the present moment, the therapist-client relationship, the environmental and social contexts in which these things take place, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of the overall situation. ... Structural information theory (SIT) is a general theory of pattern perception, set about by Emanuel Leeuwenberg in the 1960s. ... Rudolf Arnheim (July 15, 1904 — June 9, 2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist and perceptual psychologist. ... Wolfgang Metzger (* July 22, 1899 in Heidelberg, Germany; † December 20, 1979 in Bebenhausen, Germany) is considered one of the main representatives of Gestalt psychology (Gestalt theory) in Germany. ... Kurt Goldstein (1878 - 1965), German neurologist. ... Solomon E. Asch (September 14, 1907 - February 20, 1996) was a world-renowned American Gestalt psychologist and pioneer in social psychology. ... Friedrich (Frederick) Salomon Perls (July 8 1893, Berlin - March 14, 1970, Chicago), better known as Fritz Perls, was a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist of Jewish descent. ... James Tenney (August 10, 1934 in Silver City, NM) is an American composer and influential music theorist. ... The Graz School of experimental psychology and object-theory was headed by Alexius Meinong, who was professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Graz where he founded the Graz psychological institute (in 1894). ... This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. ... An optical illusion. ... Nōtan ) is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark next to the other in art and imagery. ... Amodal perception is the term used to describe the full perception of a physical structure when it is only partially perceived, for example a table will be perceived as a continuous surface even if it is partially obscured by a book placed upon it. ... The self-titled double album The Beatles, released by the Beatles in 1968 at the height of their popularity, is often hailed as one of the major accomplishments in popular music. ...

External links

References

  1. ^ a b Bruce, V., Green, P. & Georgeson, M. (1996). Visual perception: Physiology, psychology and ecology, 3rd, LEA, 110. 
  2. ^ a b Sternberg, Robert, Cognitive Psychology Fourth Edition, Thomas Wadsworth© 2006.
  3. ^ Langley& associates, 1987; Perkins, 1981; Weisberg, 1986,1995”>
  4. ^ Scholl, B. J. (2001). Objects and attention: The state of the art. Cognition, 80(1-2), 1-46.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gestalt therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2601 words)
Based initially on the insights of Gestalt psychology and traditional psychoanalysis, Gestalt therapy has developed as a humanistic psycho-therapeutic model, with a well developed theory that combines phenomenological, existential, dialogical, and field approaches, to the process of transformation and growth of human beings.
Max Wertheimer's Gestalt Psychology, which this therapy derives its name from, influences the application of the concepts about perception to a broader theory about the necessities of humans, and the relation of humans with their surroundings.
In the German Gestalt psychology, developed by Max Wertheimer, the mind is considered to function by realizing the distinction between the figure (that which attracts attention or protruding) and the ground (that which dwells in the background/ second plane).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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