M. Porter, Senior Executive, Master of Art, San Jose
Answered Nov 27, 2018
Of the five principles of Gestalt psychology the human ability or motivation to find pattern in his experience is the most important. When we talk of a 'gestalt' - a German word meaning a unified whole ' - we refer to that network of ideas/observations/impressions gathered into one 'basket' which is the individual's understanding or conception of complex factors.
The three big names of this 1920s movement in psychology, Kohler, Wertheimer and Koffka, argued that humans make sense of their experience by constructing or finding patterns, reducing chaotic impressions to a unified concept.
Gestalt is a German word for which we have no real equivalent but it is to do with parts of a whole. A gestalt is a kind of pattern made of individual parts but the nature of the whole cannot be determined by analysis of its parts, according to Gestalt theory. The first area of work in Gestalt psychology was perception, but later learning, problem solving and personality were explored within this theoretical framework.
Getalt theory emphasises the totality of experience rather than a mechanical operation by one part of the brain or body in response to a stimulus. This developed in contrast, and almost rebellion, against the stimulus, percept, response style of physiological or psychological description of behaviour.