Gestalt By: Zach Klaus & Elijah LIthgow


An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. (How do we perceive things the way that we do?)

History/Contributors to the theory

Founded in Germany in 1912, Gestalt (meaning shapre or form in German) is a philosophy of mind from the Berlin School of experimental psychology.

  • Max Wertheimer (1889 - 1943) lived in the Auro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and the USA.
  • He was the pioneer of the theory and created the closure, similarity, and proximity laws.
  • Wolfgang Kohler (1887 - 1967) lived in Estonia, Germany, and the USA.
  • Best known for work on insight (problem solving and connections)
  • Kurt Lewin (1890 - 1947) lived in Prussia, Germany, and the USA.
  • Known for Field theory, human interaction to the environment, and social psychology.


(Grouping or separating patterns)

Similarity - Items that are similar are grouped together

Pragnanz - Our reality is reduced to as simple as possible

Proximity - Objects that are close to each other are grouped together

Continuity - Lines are seen as following the smoothest path

Closure - Objects grouped together are seen as a whole

How it explains ABC’s

It explains human behavior, affect, and cognition by showing the studies of the human mind as a whole. It suggests that we can't simply focus on every small component.

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