Class Notes (806,718)
Canada (492,422)
Psychology (6,022)
Mark Cole (10)
Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Wertheimer and Kohler

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 3950F/G
Mark Cole

Lecture 9: Gestalt Psychology  Gestalt Psychology, like Behaviourism, was an answer to Introspection  The essence of Gestalt Psychology is about wholes, not parts o Tended to characterize Wundt‟s approach - reductionist  Gestalt: form, shape, or figure Max Wertheimer (1880-1943)  Born in Prague, he eventually studied philosophy  Studied under von Ehrenfels, Schumann, and Stumpf  Ph.D. (1904) under Oswald Kulpe  Schumann (1910) got him access to a tachistascope: permits images to be displayed for a short period of time  Wolfgang Kohler was his first subject  Dozent at Frankfurt (1912) and at Berlin (1916)  Assistant Professor at Berlin (1922)  Professor at Frankfurt (1929) Phi Phenomenon  Published “Experimental Studies of the Perception of Movement” in 1912  Alternating slits of light projected on a screen  When the rate of alternation was low, two alternating lights seen  When the rate of alternation was high, two solid lights seen  When the rate of alternation was moderate, the slit appeared to move („apparent movement‟)  Wundt‟s explanation was Berkeley-like kinesthesis of the eye muscles – the feedback of these kinesthetic movements is seen as movement  A three-light version contradicted that view o Three slits – two outer slits on at the same time, a middle slit on by itself o Alternated so either the middle slit is on or the two outer slits o The outer bars appear to move towards the movement and the middle and then back to the outer sides when it is speeded up a certain amount o When it is very quick it looks like three flickering bars  It can‟t be due to eye movement because your eyes cant move in two different directions at the same time  Wertheimer claimed the apparent movement perception was a gestalt  A primary perception  Point to be discussed further below under isomorphism Principles of Organization 1. Figure-Ground  Most fundamental  Elements in any stimulus array are either part of figure (main elements) or ground (background stimulation)  E.g., the vase and two faces certain is a reversible figure-ground – you can see both as the figure but not at the same time  E.g., black and white photo of a Dalmatian outside – difficult to differentiate between figure and ground 2. Principle of Similarity  Like elements perceived as belonging together  Dalmatian example goes against this – have to differentiate black spots as Dalmatian  E.g., „X O X O‟ written in four columns appears as columns of O‟s and columns of X‟s instead of rows of XOXO 3. Principle of Proximity  Elements close together perceived as belonging together 4. Principle of Closure  Elements tending to form closed contours are perceived as belonging together  Elements that work towards close (doesn‟t have to be completely closed) suggest closure  E.g., [] [] [] vs. ][ ][ ][ 5. Good Continuation  Elements which are part of a “good” figure tend to be grouped 6. Pragnanz  There is a tendency towards simplicity and good form  E.g., a rectangle that looks more like a square is going to be perceived as a square Significance  Wertheimer viewed these principles as innate – inborn tendency towards this type of simplicity  More so rationalism  Even heavily over-learned perceptual forms like letters of the alphabet ore overpowered by principles of organization Gestalt Theory of Truth  In traditional theory of truth, a proposition is true if it corresponds with its object, and false if not (Wertheimer calls this piecemeal truth)  Traditional logic and Law based on the theory of truth  Something can be understood piecemeal, or as a part of a larger whole  tF designates a statement as piecemeal true (t) but really false (F) o E.g., “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” o Usually answered on a yes/no basis  fT designates a statement as wholly true in spite of falsity of individual elements o In a sense false, but largely true o E.g., a caricature Productive Thinking  Traditional teaching methods favour rote learning – knowing rules for solving problems rather than a real understanding of the principles  E.g., needing to transform a parallelogram into a rectangle o Rules: cut off the offending bits and calculate run over rise o Understanding: when given a paper version of the parallelogram, the principles can be better understood and more creative solutions can be discovered  Wertheimer favoured self-discovery  Variations with a twist better solved by self-discoverers Wolfgang Köhler (1887-1967)  Born in Tallin, Estonia  Famil returned to Germany when Kohler was 6 years old  University at Tubingen, Bonn, and Berlin  Met Max Plank  Ph.D., Berlin (1909) under Stumpf  Tenerife Primate Station (1913-1920) o Went to the Tenerife islands off the coast of Spain o Went to study chimpanzees o Stayed for seven years  German spy? o Has been said th
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 3950F/G

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.