Precepts Of Gestalt Psychology

1553 Words 7 Pages
Explain the basic precepts of Gestalt psychology. How is Gestalt psychology different from behaviorism? Also, define phenomenology and provide an example of how researchers might attempt to assess it.
Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that believes all objects and scenes can be observed in their simplest forms. The members of this school believed that we experience the world in meaningful wholes. We do not see isolated stimuli; rather we experience meaningful configurations, or Gestalten. It is important to emphasize that according to Gestalt psychologists, people do not just perceive the world, they actively understand what they see, depending on what they are expecting to see. Gestalt psychology is different from behaviorism in the
…show more content…
A field can be defined as a dynamic, interrelated system, any part of which influences every other part. The important thing about a field is that nothing in it exists in isolation. Gestalt psychologists utilized the concept of field on many levels. Gestalt psychologist believed that whatever happens to a person influences everything about that person. For the Gestalt psychologist, the emphasis is always on a totality or whole and not on individual parts. Kurt Lewin developed a theory of human motivation around field theory. He said that human behavior at any given time is determined by the total number of psychological facts being experienced at that time. According to Lewin, the latter is anything of which a person is conscious, including being hungry, a memory of a past event, being a certain physical location, the presence of certain other people, or having a certain amount of money. A person’s “life space” is the sum of all of these psychological facts. Some of these facts employ a positive or negative influence on the person’s behavior. For Lewin, only those things consciously experienced can influence behavior; therefore, before anything experienced in the past can influence current behavior, the person must be conscious of …show more content…
By “good”, Koffka meant such qualities as simple, complete, concise, symmetrical, and harmonious. In other words, there is a tendency for every psychological event to be meaningful, complete, and simple. The law of Pragnanz was used by the Gestaltist as their guiding principle while studying perception, learning, and memory. Later, it was also applied to personality and psychotherapy. An example of when I experienced the Law of Pragnanz was when I was listening to the radio and they were playing explicit music. I can say that my mind filled in the tones with the easiest possible curse word that made sense. We do not see the little mistakes. We see what we perceive at first glance. One situation where my psychological tendency to organize might actually prove to be a liability is when I become a “control freak.” Being well-organized and getting things done can be great, but overdoing it is a different story. I dedicate a lot of attention and energy in keeping my environment organized. In order for me to do this, I have tons of personal rules and routines to be followed. The truth of the matter is that I dislike accepting help from others if they do not organize things the same way I do. Being organized is one of my best strengths, but as you can see, it can turn into a liability or a weakness if over

Related Documents