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Student Notes _ Gestalt.doc

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PSYC 312
Andrea Perrino

History of Psych Notes – Gestalt German protest to Wundt’s principles roots in Kant, Mach, Ehrenfels, Stumpf - phenomenology, J.S. Mill, Würzburg, James Zeitgeist: new physics of “whole”, fields, patterns Nazi (1933) – Jewish professors dismissed, academics fled persecution/emigrated to U.S., lack of funds, theories published only if agreed with political authority Gestalt goal: investigate organization of mental activity, exact nature of person- environment interactions eventually called for intellectual revolution, although not readily accepted in mainstream psych some personal conflicts resulted …led to influence on teaching/learning practices, humanistic & cognitive psych study.. Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Köhler Gestalt described.. Gestalt: no one English word = configuration, form, holistic, structure, pattern, shape, whole… ..not reductionist, pure observation; it involves consciousness not about elements, or pieces of sensations; it is about the total, the combination creating anew the attempt to reduce the psych events to physiological components is loss of the psych event psych processing is.. unified, coherent, organized phenomena perception is instant & inevitable; innate to brain function phi phenomemon: perceiving movement from stationary light projections in short intervals emergence: perception as a whole at once simplicity (prägnanz – good form): find stable, simple, complete forms perceptual constancy/invariance – unvarying experience of completeness, despite elemental sensory changes proximity: regional or chronological closeness of parts, appear to belong together continuity: we connect elements to follow a direction or flow, even if it stops figure/ground: to find organization, sense b/w foreground and background multistability – pop back and forth b/w 2 or more alternative interp
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