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Cognitive

Perspective
Gestalt
Psychology

Is there possibility
Of you and me together?

Do you sense good


Or evil?

Do you get the optical and the illusion?

Gestalt theory- was the initial cognitive


response to behaviorism. It emphasized
the importance of sensory wholes and the
dynamic nature of visual perception.
The term gestalt, means form or
configuration Psychologists, Max
Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler and
Kurt Koffka studied perception and
concluded that perceivers or (learners)

were not passive, but rather active They


suggested that learners do not just collect
information as is but they actively process
and restructure data in order to understand
it. This is the perceptual process.
One may have difficulty perceiving both
the words you and me the first picture in
the activity if one is trying to forget an exsweetheart when caused pain ;

or simply because he was looking on the


foreground and not the background.
According to the gestalt psychologists,
the way we form our perception are guided
by certain principles or laws. These
principles or laws determine what we see or
make of things or situations we meet.

GESTALT
PRINCIPLES
Law of Proximity. Element that are closer
together will to perceived as a coherence; object on the
left, there appears to be three columns, while on the right
there appears to be three horizontal rows. When objects
we are perceiving are near each others, we perceive them
as belonging together.

Law of Similarity.
Elements that look similar which be perceived as
part of the same form. There seems to be a triangle in
the square . We link similar elements together

Law of Closure.
We tend to fill the gaps or close the
figures we perceive. We enclose a space by
completing a contour and ignoring gaps in
the figure.

Law of Good Continuation.


Individuals have the tendency to continue contours
whenever the elements of the pattern establish an
implied direction. People tend to draw a good continuous
line.

Law of Good Pragnanz.


The stimulus will be organized into as good a figure as
possible. In this example, good refers to
symmetry,simplicity,and regularity. The figure is
perceived as a square overlapping a triangle, not a
combination of several complicated shapes. Based on our
experiences with perception, we expect certain patterns
and therefore perceive that expected pattern.

Law of Figure/Ground. We tend to pay


attention and perceive things in the foreground
first. A stimulus will be perceived as separate
from its ground.

Insight Learning
Gestalt psychology adheres to the idea of learning
taking place by discovery or insight. The idea of insight
learning was first developed by Wolfgang kohler in which
he described experiments with apes where the apes could
use boxes and sticks as tools to solve problems . In the
box problem, a banana is attached to the top of a
chimpanzees cage. The banana is out of reach but can be
reached by climbing upon and jumping from a box. Only
one of kohlers apes (Sultan) could solve this problem. A
much more difficult problem which involved the stacking
of boxes was introduce by kohler, This problem required
the ape to stack.

Kohler also gave the apes sticks which they used to


trake food into the cage. Sultan, Kohlers very intelligent
ape was able to master a two stick problem by inserting
one stick into the end of the other in order to reach the
food. In each of these problems, the important
aspect of learning was not reinforcement, but
the coordination of thinking to create new
organizations (of materials) . Kohler referred to
this behavior as insight or discovery learning.

Gestalt Principles and the


Teaching-Learning Process
The six gestalt principles not only influence
perception but they also impact on learning. Other
psychologists like Kurt Lewin,expounded gestalt
psychology. His theory focusing on life space
adhered to gestalt psychology. He said that an
individual has inner and outer forces that affect
his perceptions and also his learning. Inner forces
include his own motivation attitudes and feelings.
Outer forces may include the attitude and
behavior the teacher and classmates. All these
forces interact and impact on the persons
learning . Mario Polito,an italian psychologist
writes about relevance of gestalt psychology to
education.