Major Movements in Psychology

Gestalt Psychology

How do Gestalt ideas pertain to perception?

Gestalt psychology countered the assumption that perception is based solely on the stimulation hitting our sensory organs. As the sensory stimulation coming in differs depending upon the circumstance, we would not be able to recognize an object or person as the same across different situations if our mind did not actively organize our perceptions to recognize the gestalt. For example, we recognize our neighbor as the same person even if he loses weight, changes his clothes, or cuts his hair. Clearly the sensory information differs in each circumstance yet somehow we still recognize our neighbor as one person.


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