Thursday, May 16, 2013

The whole is other than the sum of the parts.

The gestalt effect is the form-generating capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In psychology, gestaltism is often opposed to structuralism. The phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" is often used when explaining gestalt theory, though this is a mistranslation of Kurt Koffka's [2] original phrase, "The whole is other than the sum of the parts". Gestalt theory allows for the breakup of elements from the whole situation into what it really is.

Wolfgang Köhler ( 1887 – 1967) was a German psychologist and phenomenologist who, like Max Wertheimer [1], and Kurt Koffka [2], contributed to the creation of Gestalt psychology.

The Berlin School of Experimental Psychology was headed by Carl Stumpf [4] (a pupil of Franz Brentano and Hermann Lotze), a professor at the University of Berlin, where he founded the Berlin Laboratory of Experimental Psychology in 1893.
mong his pupils were Max Wertheimer [1], Kurt Koffka [2], Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Lewin [3].
Only after Köhler took over the direction of the psychology institute in 1922 did the Berlin School effectively become a school for Gestalt Psychology.
Gestalt psychology or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – "essence or shape of an entity's complete form") is a theory of mind and brain of the Berlin School; the operational principle of gestalt psychology is that the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. The principle maintains that the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts, suggesting the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Gestalt therapy is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility, and that focuses upon the individual's experience in the present moment, the therapist-client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person's life, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation. Gestalt therapy was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s and 1950s.

[1] Max Wertheimer ( 1880 – 1943 ) was a Prague-born psychologist who was one of the three founders of Gestalt psychology, along with Kurt Koffka[2] and Wolfgang Köhler.

 [2] Kurt Koffka ( 1886 –  1941) was a German psychologist. He was born and educated in Berlin and earned his PhD there in 1909 as a student of Carl Stumpf [4]. In addition to his studies in Berlin, Koffka also spent one year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where he developed his strong fluency in English, a skill that later served him well in his efforts to spread Gestalt psychology beyond German borders.
Koffka believed that most of early learning is what he referred to as, "sensorimotor learning," which is a type of learning which occurs after a consequence. For example, a child who touches a hot stove will learn not to touch it again. Koffka also believed that a lot of learning occurs by imitation, though he argued that it is not important to understand how imitation works, but rather to acknowledge that it is a natural occurrence. According to Koffka, the highest type of learning is ideational learning, which makes use of language. Koffka notes that an important time in children's development is when they understand that objects have names.
[3] Kurt Zadek Lewin ( 1890 – 1947 ) was a German-American psychologist, known as one of the modern pioneers of social, organizational, and applied psychology. Lewin is often recognized as the "founder of social psychology" and was one of the first to study group dynamics and organizational development.

[4]Carl Stumpf (1848 – 1936) was a German philosopher and psychologist. Inspired by Franz Brentano and Hermann Lotze, he is known for his impact on phenomenology, one of the most important philosophical trends of the twentieth century. He had an important influence on Edmund Husserl, the founder of modern phenomenology, as well as Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, co-founders of Gestalt psychology. Stumpf is also considered one of the pioneers of comparative musicology and ethnomusicology, as documented in his study of the origins of human musical cognition The Origins of Music (1911).

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