GESTALTGESTALT
PSYCHOLOGYPSYCHOLOGY
“The whole is different“The whole is different
than the sum of its parts.”than the sum...
• AntecedentsAntecedents
• The Nazi PeriodThe Nazi Period
• The ZeitgeistThe Zeitgeist
• Nature vs. NurtureNature vs. Nurt...
““Gestalt”Gestalt”
configurationconfiguration
arrangement of parts in a wholearrangement of parts in a whole
formform
shap...
ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – nativist– nativist
• the world as we perceived...
ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS
Ernst Mach (1838-1916)Ernst Mach (1838-1916) – positivist– positivist
• insisted that sensations se...
ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS
William James (1842 – 1910) –William James (1842 – 1910) –
• opposed the trend toward elementism in...
THE NAZI PERIODTHE NAZI PERIOD
• The Nazi regime was interested in its ideologicalThe Nazi regime was interested in its id...
THE NAZI PERIODTHE NAZI PERIOD
• The great importance of psychology in theThe great importance of psychology in the
milita...
THE ZEITGEISTTHE ZEITGEIST
• In the closing decades of the 19th century ideas inIn the closing decades of the 19th century...
On Nature vs. NurtureOn Nature vs. Nurture
Behaviorists Gestaltists
The brain as the passive
receiver of sensation that,
i...
On the Mind-Body ProblemOn the Mind-Body Problem
Voluntarists Structuralists Behaviorist
s
Gestaltists
An active mind
prof...
The Founding ofThe Founding of
Gestalt PsychologyGestalt Psychology
• The Wurzburg LegacyThe Wurzburg Legacy
• German Phen...
Max WertheimerMax Wertheimer
(1880 – 1943)(1880 – 1943)
considered to be Gestalt psychology’s founder;
gifted with an insp...
Wolfgang KohlerWolfgang Kohler
(1887 – 1967)(1887 – 1967)
Gifted with a thoughtful, systematic capacity;
always a physicis...
Kurt KoffkaKurt Koffka
(1886 – 1941)(1886 – 1941)
the most prolific writer of Gestalt psychology’s
founders; charismatic a...
The Phi PhenomenonThe Phi Phenomenon
• The phi phenomenon, then, was just a means ofThe phi phenomenon, then, was just a m...
• Insert demonstration of phiInsert demonstration of phi
The Phi PhenomenonThe Phi Phenomenon
It is one’s perception of motion, notIt is one’s perception of motion, not
one’s resp...
Gestalt Laws of OrganizationGestalt Laws of Organization
The Law ofThe Law of PragnanzPragnanz::
A psychological condition...
Gestalt Laws of OrganizationGestalt Laws of Organization
• Figure/GroundFigure/Ground
• ClosureClosure
• ProximityProximit...
Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization:
Figure/GroundFigure/Ground
• We tend to organize perceptions in...
Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization:
ClosureClosure
• There is a tendency in our perception to compl...
Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization:
ProximityProximity
• Parts that are close together in time or s...
Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization:
ContinuityContinuity
• There is a tendency in ourThere is a ten...
Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization:
SimilaritySimilarity
• Similar parts tend to be seen together a...
IsomorphismIsomorphism
For every perception, there is a
corresponding physiological activity in the
brain which is isomorp...
IsomorphismIsomorphism
The Muller-Lyer illusion. The two
horizontal lines are the same length,
although the one on the rig...
Isomorphism:Isomorphism:
How does the mind organize sensory informationHow does the mind organize sensory information
and ...
Insightful LearningInsightful Learning
InIn The Mentality of Apes,The Mentality of Apes, Kohler describes five types ofKoh...
Insightful Learning :Insightful Learning :
The Detour ProblemThe Detour Problem
A detour problem requires the subject to t...
The Use of Implements:The Use of Implements:
Chica using a pole to obtain foodChica using a pole to obtain food
The Making...
BuildingBuilding
Problems:Problems:
Konsul,Konsul,
Sultan, ChicaSultan, Chica
and Grandeand Grande
buildingbuilding
Buildi...
Kohler’s ConclusionsKohler’s Conclusions
• An important condition of insight is the nature of theAn important condition of...
Characteristics ofCharacteristics of
Insightful LearningInsightful Learning
• thethe transpositiontransposition from pre-s...
TranspositionTransposition
the process when a principle learned in onethe process when a principle learned in one
problem ...
Stimuli: Used during Preliminary Training
Stimuli: Used during the Transposition Test
First the animal (chicken) is taught...
TranspositionTransposition
absolute theoryabsolute theory
(behaviorists) –(behaviorists) –
learning of specificlearning of...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
by Max Wertheimer, published in 1945, two years after hisby Max Wertheimer, publish...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
Two traditional approaches to teachingTwo traditional approaches to teaching
which ...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
a c
b e d
Finding the area of a parallelogram: 1) formula, area
of rectangle= altit...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
B – responses:
A – responses:
Problems and solutions involving trapezoidal figures....
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
A B
The areas of the
forms in Column
A can be found
using the
strategy of
balancing...
Problem SolvingProblem Solving
Karl Duncker studies of problem solving among collegeKarl Duncker studies of problem solvin...
Problem SolvingProblem Solving
A schematic representation of Duncker’s tumor problem. The
ellipse represents the cross sec...
Problem SolvingProblem Solving
Duncker’s analysis on the stages undergone byDuncker’s analysis on the stages undergone by
...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
rote memorizationrote memorization --
learner learns facts orlearner learns facts o...
Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking
Proposed that thinking is done inProposed that thinking is done in
terms of wholes....
Memory TraceMemory Trace
• A current experience gives rise to a memory processA current experience gives rise to a memory ...
Memory TraceMemory Trace
• a process, which is caused by ana process, which is caused by an
experience, can occur only onc...
Memory TraceMemory Trace
trace systemtrace system – numerous interrelated– numerous interrelated
individual tracesindividu...
Memory TraceMemory Trace
Traditionally, one theory of memory was that when we perceived anTraditionally, one theory of mem...
Memory Trace:Memory Trace:
Gibson and Bartlett’s StudyGibson and Bartlett’s Study
on Serial Reproductionon Serial Reproduc...
Memory TraceMemory Trace
““bundle hypothesis”bundle hypothesis”
- complex thoughts are- complex thoughts are
made up of si...
Kurt Lewin (1890-1947)Kurt Lewin (1890-1947)
a famous, charismatic psychologist who is now
viewed as the father of social ...
The Life SpaceThe Life Space
C Movie
+++++
-
-
-
-
-
Field TheoryField Theory
““Human behavior at any given time is determinedHuman behavior at any given time is determined
by...
Field TheoryField Theory
some of these facts will exert a positivesome of these facts will exert a positive
influence on t...
A Handbook of ChildA Handbook of Child
Psychology:Psychology:
Three Types of ConflictThree Types of Conflict
Lewin’s Three...
Motivation andMotivation and
the Zeigarnick Effectthe Zeigarnick Effect
Lewin proposed a basic state of balance or equilib...
Social PsychologySocial Psychology
• Group dynamics – application of psychologicalGroup dynamics – application of psycholo...
LESSER KNOWN GESTALTLESSER KNOWN GESTALT
PSYCHOLOGISTSPSYCHOLOGISTS
• Kurt Goldstein (1878 -1965) – pioneer in clinicalKur...
THE SPREAD OFTHE SPREAD OF
GESTALT PSYCHOLOGYGESTALT PSYCHOLOGY
• Mid-1920s a forceful school of thought in Germany, cente...
THE SPREAD OFTHE SPREAD OF
GESTALT PSYCHOLOGYGESTALT PSYCHOLOGY
Reasons its acceptance as a school of thought came slowly:...
GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:
CONCEPT MAPCONCEPT MAP
GESTALT
PSYCHOLOGY
Max Wertheimer
Kurt
Koffka
Phi
Phenomenon...
CONTRIBUTIONSCONTRIBUTIONS
• Gestalt movement left an indelible imprint on psychologyGestalt movement left an indelible im...
CONTRIBUTIONSCONTRIBUTIONS
• The Gestalt focus on conscious experience centered onThe Gestalt focus on conscious experienc...
CRITICISMSCRITICISMS
• Gestalt psychology had been too dependent on theory, andGestalt psychology had been too dependent o...
ReferencesReferences
• Benjafield, J.G., (1996). The developmental point of view.Benjafield, J.G., (1996). The development...
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  • In Kohler’s book Gestalt Psychology, he noted that the term was used in two different ways in German. The first denoted the shape or form as a property of perceived objects. The second sense referred to the more concrete form of an object, such as a triangle. Thus, we could refer, in the first sense, to the attribute of triangularity and in the second, to the triangle itself.
  • Immanuel Kant – 1781 he published one of his important works, Critique of Pure Reason. Two points from Kant are represented as basic tenets of Gestalt psychology. First, the world as we perceived it was not the same as the real world. Second, certain of our perception of objects come naturally as primitive organizations quite independent of learning. (nativism)
    John Stuart Mill – (associationist) developed the idea of a mental chemistry in which ideas were not merely the sum of the individual elements, but could evolve into a new whole which was more than the sum of its parts.
    Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf – (structuralists) opposed the idea of a passive mind that merely received experiences, and had stressed the act of perceiving and sensing rather than the analysis of the various elements.
    Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – argued that when we perceive what we call objects, we encounter mental states that appear to be composed of bits and pieces. These are like the sensory elements proposed by empiricists and associationists. However, to Kant, these elements are organized meaningfully not through some mechanical process of association. Instead, the mind in the process of perceiving will form or create a whole experience. Thus, perception is not a passive impression and combination of sensory elements, as the empiricists and associationists said, but an active organizing of elements into a coherent experience.
    Franz Brentano – opposed Wundt’s focus on the elements of conscious experience; proposed that psychology study the act of experiencing
  • Ernst Mach – more direct influence; a physicist who insisted that sensations served as the basis for all science. To the simple summation of sensations he added the possibility of a space-form dimension as illustrated in a triangle or any other kind of geometrical figure, as well as a time-form dimension as heard in a melody. He considered these time-forms to be independent of their elements. A triangle could be blue or white, large or small, but it still retained its quality of being a triangle. Likewise ,a melody was the same melody regardless of the key in which it was played, and it did not lose its time-form dimension in the transposition.
    Christian von Ehrenfels – philosopher who elaborated on Mach’s ideas. He believed that there were qualities in experience which went beyond those generally recognized in our sensations. He called these “Gestaltqualitaten” or form-qualities. In melody, there was a temporal pattern that was independent of the individual sensational tones which were the elements out of which it was composed. The same was true for visual form in a manner similar to that stated by Mach. For Ehrenfels and the Austrian Graz School, the problem of form in itself was an element, but not merely an element of sensation. It existed as a new element created by the mind to be added to the sensation elements. The new elements were present in the mind but were not in physical things.
    Ernst Mach (1838-1916) – perception of an object does not change, even if we change our orientation to it (e.g. a table remains a table to us whether we look at it from the side or the top or from an angle)
    Christian von Ehrenfels (1859-1932) – the mind was able to create form out of elementary sensations; Max Wertheimer studied with him at Prague
  • William James – opposed the trend toward elementism in psychology; regarded elements of consciousness as artificial abstraction’ “people see objects as wholes, not as bundles of sensations”; Koffka and Kohler learned of James’ work when they were students of Stumpf
    phenomenology – a doctrine based on an unbiased description of immediate experience just as it occurs. The experience is not analyzed or reduced to elements or otherwise artificially abstracted.
  • Psychology was not forced by the Nazi party to meet any specific political demands. The Nazi party had no concept for the discipline’s theoretical development, nor did the party specifically suffocate psychology. The only constant factor of Nazi science policy was the persecution of Jewish and politically opposing scholars. Thus, racist dismissals hit psychology. But a the same time the party authorities and representatives who were responsible for science policy fostered the professional development of the field. The Nazi regime was not only interested in ideological legitimization. It was also interested in a science that was highly effective in a technological, or, as Jurgen Habermas has put it for the social sciences, in a socio-technological sense. This was true not only for psychology, but also for other disciplines.
    Psychology’s professionalization largely shaped its development throughout the Nazi period. The discipline was able to prove its usefulness in the army and in other fields outside the university, and leading psychologists seem to have been guided primarily by a desire to do all that was worthwhile for the improvement of the discipline’s institutionalization and professionalization. They did not reflect on the ends which their knowledge was used, even when the German army, for which they were working, spread war and terror over Europe. (Experts are often blind. They offer knowledge and their abilities as effective means of performing tasks whose aims they have neither set nor considered.)
    The great importance of psychology in the military and the accelerating role of war in psychology’s professionalization is not only a German phenomenon. This has already been stressed for the US and Canada in WW1 and 2, and can surely be found in other countries as well. In Germany, the requirements of the army for a great number of psychological experts pushed psychology’s orientation toward diagnostics.
  • significant influence was the intellectual climate in physics. In the closing decades of the 19th century ideas in physics were becoming less atomistic with the recognition and acceptance of fields of force, those regions or spaces crossed by lines of force such as from an electric current (e.g. magnetism, light and electricity were believed to operate similarly)
    physicists were describing fields and organic wholes, thus providing ammunition and support for the Getslt psychologists’ revolutionary ways of looking at perception. Thus, the ideas offered by the Gestalt psychologists were reflecting the new physics.
    Personal connection- Kohler studied with Max Planck, one of the architects of modern physics; Watson apparently had no training in the new physics
  • . If the art in a box is the image created by the term “behaviorism”, then the chimp with two sticks in his hands is the symbol of the Gestalt laboratory.
  • Isomorphism- a term implying equality of form, makes the bold assumption that the ‘motion of the atoms and molecules of the brain’ are not ‘fundamentally different from thoughts and feelings’ but in the molar aspects, considered as processes in extension, identical
  • Wertheimer, Koffka and Kohler worked together at the Psychological Institute of Frankfurt for several years, beginning in 1909
    Strolioscopes were available as toys by 1910; earliest motion pictures had been filmed some 20 years before
    Careful about the use of the term “discovery”; it was not apparent movement that was discovered by the Frankfurt group but a new approach to psychology, an approach based on such perceptual phenomena as phi.
  • In the later part of the 19th century, a controversy existed between two groups of people concerned with perceptual phenomena and their origins.
    Those who believed that
    Perceptual phenomena were innately given as parts of our physiological apparatusPast experiences were crucial in determining how we see the world around usImmanuel Kant: innately given characteristics of perceptionHelmholtz: unconscious inferences depended upon the person’s past experiences with objectsBritish associationists: stressed the acquired characteristics of perceptionGestalt psychologists: Perception is determined jointly by the nature of the stimuli falling upon the receptors and the innate organization of the nervous system. The proper study of perception involves strong dependence upon phenomenology, the study of a person’s own sensations. Because of their interests, they were drawn to consideration of erroneous perceptions, or illusions.
    Gestalt psychologists are interested in explaining normal adult perception and use the study of illusory or abnormal perceptions as one approach to that end.
    Two products emerged from the Gestalt studies of perception: a set of laws which described the perceptual experiences occurring as a result of specified stimulus conditions (laws of perception) and an explanation of the ways in which perception occurred (the principle of isomorphism).
    Law of Pragnanz not the only things that transforms and gives meaning to what we experience physically
    It is consciousness or subjective reality that determines behavior; beliefs, values, needs, attitudes; people in exactly the same physical environment will vary in their interpretation of that environment and, therefore, how they react to it
    Geographical environment (objective or physical reality)
    Behavioral environment (psychological and subjective reality)
    “To understand why people act as they do, it is more important to know their behavioral environments than it is to know their geographical environment.” (Koffka)
    Beliefs are powerful determinants of behavior. (in close agreement with the theories of Tolman and Bandura)
    Law of Pragnanz:
    Cognitive balance is more satisfying than cognitive disbalance.
    [in close agreement with both Guthrie and Hull; problems provide maintaining stimuli (or drive, to use Hull’s term), which persists until the problems are solved, at which point the maintaining stimuli terminate (the drive is reduced)]
  • Figure and Ground – one of the most important principles of “primitive organization”; any perception would tend to organize itself into a figure that stood out from its background
  • Closure – when certain parts of our perceptual organization were left out, there was a tendency to “fill in the gaps”, in other words, to make the Gestalt complete
    Pragnanz – closure was merely a special case of the more general law of pragnanz (good form or good Gestalt)
  • Proximity – elements which are close together either in time or space would tend to be grouped together
  • Continuity (Principle of Direct or Good Continuation) – the stimuli that have continuity with each other are perceived as flowing in the same direction or following the same pattern, and will be seen as a figure
  • Similarity – elements that were alike in their structure would tend to be perceived together, unless there were other factors in the field overriding them
  • (The mathematical relation of isomorphism is that two figures are isomorphic if the points of which they are comprised are connected in the same way. If we were to draw a figure of a triangle on a piece of elastic material, like rubber, then no matter how we distort the rubber surface, the connections between the adjacent portions of the figure are always the same. Each new figure created by distorting the rubber surface is isomorphic to the original triangle and to other figures produced by distortion of the figure.)
  • in the Muller-Lyer illusion, the fact that one horizontal line appears longer than the other is explained on the basis that the forms of excitation in the visual area of the brain corresponding to the horizontal lines in the stimulus are in fact different lengths.
    The form corresponding to the perceived longer line is longer than the form corresponding to the perceived shorter line. The field effects produced by the different types of lines at the end of the two longer lines influence the electrical brain fields of the two forms in different ways. The arrowlike endings act to stretch out the electrical fields. Thus, the ends of the stimulus patterns have actually altered the physiological forms. The explanation is based upon electrical phenomena which would occur in any similarly constituted electrical field.
  • Criticisms of Isomorphism:
    1. Thus far Gestalt psychology would have us assume that figures in the world are transmitted to the visual areas, and sometimes the transmitted figure is distorted because of the nature of the material in the brain and the activity in other areas. But, what then? We must have some theory to explain how these physiological forms are capable of instigating behavior, and some theory by which these brain forms are translated into awareness to account for the mental experiences of perception. One of the serious problems which exist for the Gestalt theories of psychology is that these next links in the theoretical chain leading to behavior have not been forged.
    bases for doubts about the usefulness of the principle of isomorphism center on the results of studies of the nervous system.
    The size of the visual projection area which receives fibers from the foveal area of the retina greatly exceeds the size of the visual projection area receiving fibers from the rest of the retina. Shouldn’t this produce a considerable amount of the perceptual distortion? Yet our visual experiences do not seem distorted in this way. We do not see portions of figures in the center of our visual fields larger than other portions falling more on the periphery of the retina.
    Studies which create electrical or physiological disturbances of the brain tissue in the visual projection areas. It has been pointed out that tumors and accidents of brain pathology in the visual areas do not produce the expected disturbances of perception. In one study gold foil, an excellent electrical conductor, placed across the visual projection areas of a chimpanzee trained in a visual discrimination problem did not interfere with the animal’s behavior in a visual task. The gold foil was placed so as to disturb any forms which might exist in the electrical fields of the visual brain areas. Gold pins inserted in the visual projection area of another animal did not interfere with the animal’s responses in the same task. These examples make it difficult to assume that the integrity of a form of electrical activity in a sensory projection area is essential to perception.
  • A detour problem requires the subject to turn away from the goal in order to reach it (see Figure). In order to be credited with insight the animal must, accdg to Kohler, show evidence of perceiving the relationships involved by quickly and smoothly adopting the detour route. Description of his human subject’s solution for a similar problem:
    A little girl of 1 yr 3 mos, who had learned to walk alone a few weeks before, was brought into a blind alley, set up ad hoc (2 meters long and 1.5 wide), and, on the other side of the partition, some attractive object was put before her eyes; first she pushed toward the object, i.e. against the partition, then looked around slowly, let her eyes run along the blind alley, suddenly laughed joyfully, and in one movement was off on a trot round the corner to the objective.
    But when tested on the same type of the problem the hen showed no evidence of reasoning or insight. The birds spent most of their time “rushing up against the obstruction. Some eventually achieved the solution in simplified problems if they extended their running sufficiently to hit upon the opening where they could then see a direct route leading to the goal.
    The dog and the chimpanzee did exhibit the ability to solve the detour problem in an insightful manner. Kohler reports that his subject’s behavior clearly reveals the dramatic moment at which insight occurs
  • In either case, the successful solution to the problems involves the animal’s understanding of the implement as a tool. For example, if a banana is placed out of reach outside the animal’s cage and several hollow bamboo sticks are provided inside the cage, then the animal must perceive the sticks in an entirely new manner- not as playthings- but as tools which he can use as extensions of himself.
    When Sultan, Kohler’s brightest ape, was confronted with this problem he failed at first. He tried to get the banana with one stick, then brought a box toward the bars and immediately pushed it away again. He next pushed one stick out as far as it would go, took the other stick and pushed the first with it until the first touched the banana. Sultan, Kohler adds, exhibited considerable satisfaction at this actual contact with the fruit. However, despite the fact that Kohler gave Sultan a “hint” by putting his finger in the bamboo stick while Sultan watched, the animal did not succeed in the course of an hour-long trial. But immediately after that same trial, in the course of playing with the sticks Sultan solved the problem.
    In subsequent experiments, Sultan solved the problem quickly and was not confused even when given three sticks, two of which could not be fitted together. Kohler reports that the animal did not even try to put the inappropriate sticks together.
  • We may interpret the significance of this and similar implement tests as follows. The chimpanzee does not exhibit “pure insight” in solving the problem in the sense that he needs no experience with the implements before demonstrating their use in an insightful manner. Some trial-and-error behavior is a necessary prelude for insight to take place. Once the animal grasps the problem, he exhibits a high degree of understanding and good transfer on the box-stacking problem- perhaps the best known of all Kohler’s experiments. The situation confronting the animal is the proper utilization of one or more boxes for obtaining a banana, which is suspended too high for the animal to reach directly or grasp by jumping.
    It turned out that the apes had considerable difficulty with this problem. Sultan needed repeated trials and several demonstrations of box-stacking by Kohler before succeeding. But Kohler goes on to argue that the animal was actually confronted with two problems in one. First, he had to solve the problem of the gap between the floor and the banana. Essentially, this was a perceptual problem necessitating the perception of the box as a gap filler. The second aspect of the problem was the mechanical one of actually building the box structure, and it was the mechanical one of actually building the box structure, and it was on this phase of the problem that the animals experienced the greatest difficulty. There were, so to speak, poor builders. Sultan rather quickly demonstrated that he knew how to bridge the gap by dragging boxes under the suspended fruit, but he stacked the boxes in so wobbly a manner that his structures kept collapsing. It is, after all, unnecessary for a chimpanzee to be a skilled builder in his natural surroundings when he is so agile in climbing trees. However, several of Kohler’s animals eventually managed a three-to-four-box tower which remained in place long enough for them to scramble up and seize the banana before the structure collapsed. Kohler concluded that the building problem was solved only by trial-and-error, but that the perceptual problem was solved by insight.
  • Kohler criticizes Thorndike’s work on the ground that the cats in the puzzle boxes were frequently confronted with problems in which a survey of the entire release mechanism was impossible. Kohler believes that the various elements or parts of the problem must be perceived by the animal or it will be impossible for him to reorganize them into a large whole.
    This does not mean the “blind random attack” of Thorndike’s cats, but a procedure more akin to what we might call “behavioral hypothesis” which the animal is trying out and discarding. In this connection, the animal’s previous experience with either the specific elements involved in the problem under attack, or with similar problems in the past, is crucial. Past experience with similar problems leads to fruitful hypothesis in future problems.
    Moreover, the animal shows a high level of retention and understanding which, of course, makes for good transfer.
    Not all chimpanzees can solve the same problem. Moreover, there are differences among species of animals. It will be recalled that dogs could readily solve the detour problem whereas hens could not. No one has made an exhaustive study of the matter, but is doubtful if anything akin to “reasoning” or “insight” can be demonstrated lower on the phylo-genetic scale than the rodents, and even here the problems must be so simple that it is a controversial matter whether they are properly called “reasoning” problems in the first place.
  • The Presolution Period
    referring to the elapsed time before an insightful solution to a problem is reached
    For insightful learning to occur, the organism must be exposed to all elements of the problem; otherwise, its behavior will seem to be blind and groping
    Critique to Thorndike’s Research:
    Thorndike found what appeared to be incremental learning because important elements of the problem were hidden from the animal, thus preventing insightful learning
    The “Aha” experience – finding a good portion of the picture before the hidden shape is found; cognitive disequilibrium (tension) → cognitive equilibrium (relaxation) → may make one feel like saying “Aha”
  • Kenneth Spence proving through experiment on boxes:
    phase 1 - reinforced an animal for approaching box with lid of 160 sq. cm. and not reinforced for approaching box with lid of 100 sq. cm.
    phase 2 – the animal chooses between box with lid of 160 sq. cm. and a box with lid of 256 sq. cm.; animal chooses larger box
    based on generalization:
    the tendency to approach a positive stimulus generalizes to other related stimuli
    the tendency to approach the positive stimulus (and the generalization of this tendency) is stronger than the tendency to avoid the negative stimulus (and the generalization of this tendency)
    What behavior occurs will be determined by the algebraic summation of the positive and negative tendencies;
    Whenever there’s a choice between two stimuli, the one eliciting the greatest net approach tendency will be chosen.
    Spence’ theory could predict both the successes and failures of the transposition phenomenon; became more widely accepted
  • Karl Duncker
    German Psychologist
    Rating: 18/27
    Born: Leipzig, February 2,1903
    Died: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1940
    Highest Degree: PhD in psychology, University of Berlin, 1929
    Positions: 1929-1937, University of Berlin; 1938-1940, Swarthmore College
  • Duncker analyzed the protocols obtained from his subjects according to certain stages revealed by the subject’s reactions.
    There is the discovery of the “general or essential properties of a solution”. None of the solutions are practical, but they nevertheless reveal a general grasp of the problem and a reformulation of it in a goal-oriented direction.
    Upon being advised of the impracticality of his first general proposals, the subject continues to formulate solution which are still broad but which are more truly solutions as opposed to mere reformulations of the problems. Duncker grouped these under the heading of solutions with “functional value”.
    Out of the functional solutions the subject develops specific solutions.
  • Several studies done intended to demonstrate how changes in the memory traces would follow some principle of organization; the first was done by Wuff who presented his subjects with simple geometric figures or irregular shapes. These were presented for 5 seconds initially. The subjects were then asked to draw the figures they had seen following time intervals of thirty seconds, twenty-four hours, and one week. In cases where the original figure was “weak” (very ambiguous), the subjects tended to sharpen and make it a better figure (good form). Gibson and Bartlett also found that when subjects were presented simple visual forms and later asked to recall them, distortions tended to occur, but in the direction of good form (insert figure- changes in figures within the method of serial reproduction). Allport and Postman presented rumors to their subjects and later asked them to recall them. Again, considerable leveling occurred. Shortening and simplifying of the reports resulted, which the Gestaltists felt supported their hypothesis.
  • Any disturbance of this equilibrium leads to tension, which in turn leads to some action in an effort to relieve the tension and restore the balance.
    Notes on Bluma Zeigarnick:
    Zeigarnick became one of the most prominent psychologists in the former Soviet Union: she is the "founding mother" of contemporary psychopathology in the former USSR. She is the author and co-author of practically all major textbooks on psychopathology ("abnormal psychology" in the US terms) and was the leading teacher in this area (full professor at Moscow University since early 60s (in Luria=92s department). Her last book, the second edition of “Psychopathology" was published in 1986 (after her death).=20 Now, I attended her lectures in 1973-76. I read from cover to cover many of her textbooks during my training as a forensic psychologist. I can testify that in all her texts she appeared as an orthodox Vygotskian (in Leontiev=92s modification) and there is nothing there from gestalt psychology in general and Lewin=92s writings in particular. During her lectures she was very critical of Lewin, I would say, even sarcastic: she repeatedly said:"the so-called theory of Lewin".
  • Some of gestalt’s effect of social psychology is found in the following concepts:
    The Zeigarnik Effect: Experiments done by Bluma Zeigarnik showed that we remember interrupted tasks best. The reason for this is that the tension created by unfinished tasks helps us to remember; it is not just the most rewarding experiences that we remember best.
    Group Dynamics: The importance of this technique is based on the Gestalt idea that seeing yourself as others see you can offer great insight into your relationships with others and increase tolerance
    Solomon Asch studied social cognition and determined that the way we perceive others is based on the Gestalt idea of seeing individuals as a whole person instead of focusing on their individual attributes
  • Gestalt_eden2004

    1. 1. GESTALTGESTALT PSYCHOLOGYPSYCHOLOGY “The whole is different“The whole is different than the sum of its parts.”than the sum of its parts.”
    2. 2. • AntecedentsAntecedents • The Nazi PeriodThe Nazi Period • The ZeitgeistThe Zeitgeist • Nature vs. NurtureNature vs. Nurture • Mind-Body ProblemMind-Body Problem • The Triumvirate (Wertheimer, Koffka, Kohler)The Triumvirate (Wertheimer, Koffka, Kohler) – Phi PhenomenonPhi Phenomenon – Gestalt Laws of OrganizationGestalt Laws of Organization – Insightful LearningInsightful Learning – Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking – Memory TraceMemory Trace • Kurt Lewin’s Field TheoryKurt Lewin’s Field Theory • The Spread of Gestalt PsychologyThe Spread of Gestalt Psychology • Gestalt Psychology: Concept MapGestalt Psychology: Concept Map • Lesser Known Gestalt PsychologistsLesser Known Gestalt Psychologists • ContributionsContributions • CriticismsCriticisms
    3. 3. ““Gestalt”Gestalt” configurationconfiguration arrangement of parts in a wholearrangement of parts in a whole formform shapeshape
    4. 4. ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – nativist– nativist • the world as we perceived it was not the same as thethe world as we perceived it was not the same as the real worldreal world • our perception of objects come naturally as primitiveour perception of objects come naturally as primitive organizations quite independent of learningorganizations quite independent of learning John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) – associationist– associationist • mental chemistry - ideas were not merely the sum of themental chemistry - ideas were not merely the sum of the individual elements, but could evolve into a new wholeindividual elements, but could evolve into a new whole which was more than the sum of its partswhich was more than the sum of its parts Franz Brentano (1838 – 1917) andFranz Brentano (1838 – 1917) and Carl Stumpf (1848 - 1936)Carl Stumpf (1848 - 1936) – structuralists– structuralists • opposed the idea of a passive mind that merely receivedopposed the idea of a passive mind that merely received experiences, and stressed the act of perceiving andexperiences, and stressed the act of perceiving and sensing rather than the analysis of the various elementssensing rather than the analysis of the various elements
    5. 5. ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS Ernst Mach (1838-1916)Ernst Mach (1838-1916) – positivist– positivist • insisted that sensations served as the basis forinsisted that sensations served as the basis for all scienceall science • a triangle could be blue or white, large ora triangle could be blue or white, large or small, but it still retained its quality of being asmall, but it still retained its quality of being a triangletriangle • a melody was the same melody regardless ofa melody was the same melody regardless of the key in which it was played, and it did notthe key in which it was played, and it did not lose its time-form dimension in thelose its time-form dimension in the transpositiontransposition Christian von Ehrenfels (1859 – 1932)Christian von Ehrenfels (1859 – 1932) –– • qualities in experience which went beyondqualities in experience which went beyond those generally recognized in our sensations;those generally recognized in our sensations; called thesecalled these “Gestaltqualitaten”“Gestaltqualitaten” or form-or form- qualities; the new elements were present inqualities; the new elements were present in the mind but were not in physical thingsthe mind but were not in physical things MaxMax WertheimerWertheimer studied withstudied with him at Praguehim at Prague
    6. 6. ANTECEDENTSANTECEDENTS William James (1842 – 1910) –William James (1842 – 1910) – • opposed the trend toward elementism inopposed the trend toward elementism in psychology; regarded elements ofpsychology; regarded elements of consciousness as artificial abstraction’ “peopleconsciousness as artificial abstraction’ “people see objects as wholes, not as bundles ofsee objects as wholes, not as bundles of sensations”;sensations”; phenomenologyphenomenology – a doctrine based on an– a doctrine based on an unbiased description of immediate experienceunbiased description of immediate experience just as it occurs; the experience is notjust as it occurs; the experience is not analyzed or reduced to elements or otherwiseanalyzed or reduced to elements or otherwise artificially abstractedartificially abstracted Koffka and Kohler learned of James’ work when they were students of Stumpf
    7. 7. THE NAZI PERIODTHE NAZI PERIOD • The Nazi regime was interested in its ideologicalThe Nazi regime was interested in its ideological legitimization and at the same time, it was alsolegitimization and at the same time, it was also interested in a science that was highly effectiveinterested in a science that was highly effective in a technological and socio-technological sensein a technological and socio-technological sense (Jurgen Habermas).(Jurgen Habermas). • Psychology’s professionalization largely shapedPsychology’s professionalization largely shaped its development throughout the Nazi period.its development throughout the Nazi period. • The psychologists, like most experts, did notThe psychologists, like most experts, did not reflect on the ends which their knowledge wasreflect on the ends which their knowledge was used, even when the German army, for whichused, even when the German army, for which they were working, spread war and terror overthey were working, spread war and terror over Europe.Europe.
    8. 8. THE NAZI PERIODTHE NAZI PERIOD • The great importance of psychology in theThe great importance of psychology in the military and the accelerating role of war inmilitary and the accelerating role of war in psychology’s professionalization was anpsychology’s professionalization was an international phenomenon.international phenomenon. • Following dismissals due to anti-Semitism,Following dismissals due to anti-Semitism, several German psychologists emigrated to theseveral German psychologists emigrated to the United States.United States. • Disciples/adherents to the Gestalt positionDisciples/adherents to the Gestalt position continued to conduct research in Germanycontinued to conduct research in Germany during the Nazi era, focusing on studies in visionduring the Nazi era, focusing on studies in vision and depth perception.and depth perception.
    9. 9. THE ZEITGEISTTHE ZEITGEIST • In the closing decades of the 19th century ideas inIn the closing decades of the 19th century ideas in physics were becoming less atomistic with thephysics were becoming less atomistic with the recognition and acceptance of fields of force (e.g.recognition and acceptance of fields of force (e.g. magnetism, light and electricity were believed tomagnetism, light and electricity were believed to operate similarly)operate similarly) • In chemistry most everything was thought to beIn chemistry most everything was thought to be divided into combinations of various elements: fordivided into combinations of various elements: for example, water is a combination of hydrogen andexample, water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.oxygen. • Around 1910 in Germany was called the Crisis ofAround 1910 in Germany was called the Crisis of Science. Not only science, but academic knowledgeScience. Not only science, but academic knowledge in general, was losing the confidence of more andin general, was losing the confidence of more and more people, intellectuals included, because itmore people, intellectuals included, because it could not deal with major human concerns. It wascould not deal with major human concerns. It was time to deal with central human issues outside thetime to deal with central human issues outside the natural science tradition. (practical science vs.natural science tradition. (practical science vs. speculative psychology)speculative psychology) Kohler studiedKohler studied with Max Planck,with Max Planck, one of theone of the architects ofarchitects of modern physicsmodern physics
    10. 10. On Nature vs. NurtureOn Nature vs. Nurture Behaviorists Gestaltists The brain as the passive receiver of sensation that, in turn, produce responses; a complex switchboard Human nature is determined by what we experience. The contents of the “mind” as the synthesis of our experiences. The brain acts on incoming sensory information in such a way as to make it more meaningful and organized; not a learned function but is the result of the brain’s structure (the brain’s organizational abilities were not inherited; rather, such abilities characterized any physical system Passive brain that responded to and stored sensory information [British empiricists] Active brain [rationalists] that transformed sensory information [nativistic, Kantian tradition]
    11. 11. On the Mind-Body ProblemOn the Mind-Body Problem Voluntarists Structuralists Behaviorist s Gestaltists An active mind profoundly influenced behavior. The mind could willfully arrange the elements of thought into any number of configurations; behavior was instigated by the resultant configurations Body sensations passively give rise to, or caused, mental images. Epiphenomenalism - belief that the contents of the mind vary passively as a function of sensory experience and have no causal relationship to behavior Ignored the issue; concentrated their investigations on behavior Isomorphism between psychological experiences and the processes that exist in the brain The phenomenal world (consciousness) is an accurate expression of the circumstances, that is, field forces that exist in the brain.
    12. 12. The Founding ofThe Founding of Gestalt PsychologyGestalt Psychology • The Wurzburg LegacyThe Wurzburg Legacy • German PhenomenologyGerman Phenomenology • Originated and nurtured by Max Wertheimer, WolfgangOriginated and nurtured by Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt KoffkaKohler, and Kurt Koffka o Wertheimer studied with Stumpf before joining KulpeWertheimer studied with Stumpf before joining Kulpe in Wurzburgin Wurzburg o Kohler and Koffka were both educated at theKohler and Koffka were both educated at the University of Berlin under the direction of StumpfUniversity of Berlin under the direction of Stumpf o All three later fled to the United States during NaziAll three later fled to the United States during Nazi periodperiod
    13. 13. Max WertheimerMax Wertheimer (1880 – 1943)(1880 – 1943) considered to be Gestalt psychology’s founder; gifted with an inspirational quality; warm and friendly worked closely with Koffka and Kohler, who acted as subjects in the first experiments conducted by Wertheimer He became aware of a form of apparent motion, known as the phi phenomenon while on a train at Frankfurt. His book Productive Thinking was published after his death.
    14. 14. Wolfgang KohlerWolfgang Kohler (1887 – 1967)(1887 – 1967) Gifted with a thoughtful, systematic capacity; always a physicist in his thinking; cold and aloof the only psychologist in Germany to protest publicly the dismissals of Jewish scholars His most significant work on insightful learning was done in 1913 - 1917 at the University of Berlin Anthropoid Station on Tenerife, Canary Islands. His findings were summarized in The Mentality of the Apes (1917). He also developed the concept of isomorphism.
    15. 15. Kurt KoffkaKurt Koffka (1886 – 1941)(1886 – 1941) the most prolific writer of Gestalt psychology’s founders; charismatic and charming man brought the teachings of the Gestalt movement to a great number of psychologists, especially in the United States. He attempted to link the past with the present through his concept of the memory trace. The Principles of Gestalt Psychology, became the bible for Gestalt psychologists.
    16. 16. The Phi PhenomenonThe Phi Phenomenon • The phi phenomenon, then, was just a means ofThe phi phenomenon, then, was just a means of displaying the essential premise of Gestalt psychology:displaying the essential premise of Gestalt psychology: Perception is the result of an interaction betweenPerception is the result of an interaction between the physical characteristics of stimulation andthe physical characteristics of stimulation and the mental laws governing the experiences ofthe mental laws governing the experiences of the observer.the observer. • In the demonstration of the phi phenomenon, there is noIn the demonstration of the phi phenomenon, there is no physical feature of the environment that permits thephysical feature of the environment that permits the prediction of the effect.prediction of the effect.
    17. 17. • Insert demonstration of phiInsert demonstration of phi
    18. 18. The Phi PhenomenonThe Phi Phenomenon It is one’s perception of motion, notIt is one’s perception of motion, not one’s response to motion that is theone’s response to motion that is the object of study. In short, it is the studyobject of study. In short, it is the study of a mental as opposed to sensory orof a mental as opposed to sensory or behavior state.behavior state.
    19. 19. Gestalt Laws of OrganizationGestalt Laws of Organization The Law ofThe Law of PragnanzPragnanz:: A psychological condition will always beA psychological condition will always be as ‘good’ as the prevailing conditionsas ‘good’ as the prevailing conditions allow.allow.
    20. 20. Gestalt Laws of OrganizationGestalt Laws of Organization • Figure/GroundFigure/Ground • ClosureClosure • ProximityProximity • ContinuityContinuity • SimilaritySimilarity
    21. 21. Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization: Figure/GroundFigure/Ground • We tend to organize perceptions into the object beingWe tend to organize perceptions into the object being looked at (the figure) and the background against whichlooked at (the figure) and the background against which it appears (the ground).it appears (the ground).
    22. 22. Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization: ClosureClosure • There is a tendency in our perception to completeThere is a tendency in our perception to complete incomplete figures, to fill in gaps.incomplete figures, to fill in gaps. B
    23. 23. Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization: ProximityProximity • Parts that are close together in time or space appear toParts that are close together in time or space appear to belong together and tend to be perceived togetherbelong together and tend to be perceived together
    24. 24. Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization: ContinuityContinuity • There is a tendency in ourThere is a tendency in our perception to follow a direction,perception to follow a direction, to connect the elements in ato connect the elements in a way that makes them seemway that makes them seem continuous or flowing in acontinuous or flowing in a particular direction.particular direction.
    25. 25. Gestalt Laws of Organization:Gestalt Laws of Organization: SimilaritySimilarity • Similar parts tend to be seen together as forming aSimilar parts tend to be seen together as forming a group.group.
    26. 26. IsomorphismIsomorphism For every perception, there is a corresponding physiological activity in the brain which is isomorphic to the mental experience (e.g. When we perceive a triangle, there exists in the brain a physiological representation of a triangle which maintains certain aspects of triangularity).
    27. 27. IsomorphismIsomorphism The Muller-Lyer illusion. The two horizontal lines are the same length, although the one on the right in the figure clearly seems to be longer. The Gestalt movement explains perception on the basis of the physical characteristics of forms found in electrical fields in the brain, meaning our perceptions correspond to the final electrical form in the brain.
    28. 28. Isomorphism:Isomorphism: How does the mind organize sensory informationHow does the mind organize sensory information and make it more meaningful?and make it more meaningful? External Stimulation S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 Brain transforms sensory data in accordance with law of Pragnanz Conscious experience is determined by the interaction of external stimulation and the field forces in the brain
    29. 29. Insightful LearningInsightful Learning InIn The Mentality of Apes,The Mentality of Apes, Kohler describes five types ofKohler describes five types of problems which he employed to test the apes’ ability toproblems which he employed to test the apes’ ability to solve complex problems:solve complex problems: 1)1) detour problems;detour problems; 2)2) problems involving the use of implements;problems involving the use of implements; 3)3) problems in which the animal had to make implements;problems in which the animal had to make implements; 4)4) building problems; andbuilding problems; and 5)5) problems involving imitation.problems involving imitation.
    30. 30. Insightful Learning :Insightful Learning : The Detour ProblemThe Detour Problem A detour problem requires the subject to turn away from the goal inA detour problem requires the subject to turn away from the goal in order to reach it. In order to be credited with insight the animal mustorder to reach it. In order to be credited with insight the animal must show evidence of perceiving the relationships involved by quicklyshow evidence of perceiving the relationships involved by quickly and smoothly adopting the detour route.and smoothly adopting the detour route. Door Door Window O (Objective) X (Subject)
    31. 31. The Use of Implements:The Use of Implements: Chica using a pole to obtain foodChica using a pole to obtain food The Making ofThe Making of Implements:Implements: Sultan puttingSultan putting two stickstwo sticks togethertogether In either case, the successful solution to the problems involves the animal’s understanding of the implement as a tool.
    32. 32. BuildingBuilding Problems:Problems: Konsul,Konsul, Sultan, ChicaSultan, Chica and Grandeand Grande buildingbuilding Building Problems:Building Problems: Grande using a stack of boxes toGrande using a stack of boxes to obtain food as Sultan watchesobtain food as Sultan watches Building Problems:Building Problems: Grande creating an even moreGrande creating an even more elaborate structureelaborate structure Kohler concluded that: • the building problem was solved only by trial- and-error, • but that the perceptual problem was solved by insight.
    33. 33. Kohler’s ConclusionsKohler’s Conclusions • An important condition of insight is the nature of theAn important condition of insight is the nature of the experimental situation. The animal must be able to seeexperimental situation. The animal must be able to see the relationship among all parts of the problem beforethe relationship among all parts of the problem before insight can occur.insight can occur. • Second, these experiments clearly point out that insightSecond, these experiments clearly point out that insight follows a period of “trial-and-error” behavior.follows a period of “trial-and-error” behavior. • Third, once the animal solves the problem by insight,Third, once the animal solves the problem by insight, there is a high degree of transfer to similar problems.there is a high degree of transfer to similar problems. • Finally, insight is closely related to the animal’s capacity.Finally, insight is closely related to the animal’s capacity.
    34. 34. Characteristics ofCharacteristics of Insightful LearningInsightful Learning • thethe transpositiontransposition from pre-solution to solution is suddenfrom pre-solution to solution is sudden and complete;and complete; • performance based on a solution gained by insight isperformance based on a solution gained by insight is usually smooth and free of errors;usually smooth and free of errors; • a solution to a problem gained by insight is retained for aa solution to a problem gained by insight is retained for a considerable length of time; andconsiderable length of time; and • a principle gained by insight is easily applied to othera principle gained by insight is easily applied to other problemsproblems
    35. 35. TranspositionTransposition the process when a principle learned in onethe process when a principle learned in one problem solving situation is applied to theproblem solving situation is applied to the solution of another problemsolution of another problem • Experiment involving training an animal to approach one of two shades of gray paper
    36. 36. Stimuli: Used during Preliminary Training Stimuli: Used during the Transposition Test First the animal (chicken) is taught to approach a dark gray stimulus and then is offered a choice between the dark gray stimulus and a still darker gray stimulus. If the animal chooses the darker of the two, transposition is said to have been demonstrated. TranspositionTransposition
    37. 37. TranspositionTransposition absolute theoryabsolute theory (behaviorists) –(behaviorists) – learning of specificlearning of specific S-R connections;S-R connections; would predict that thewould predict that the animal will chooseanimal will choose same shade of graysame shade of gray as used in theas used in the preliminary trainingpreliminary training relational theoryrelational theory (Gestaltists point of(Gestaltists point of view) – emphasizesview) – emphasizes the comparisonthe comparison between the twobetween the two stimuli; predicted thatstimuli; predicted that the animal wouldthe animal would choose the darker ofchoose the darker of the two objects in thethe two objects in the Transposition test;Transposition test; prediction isprediction is accurateaccurate VS.
    38. 38. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking by Max Wertheimer, published in 1945, two years after hisby Max Wertheimer, published in 1945, two years after his death, expanded and re-published in 1959 under thedeath, expanded and re-published in 1959 under the editorship of his son Michaeleditorship of his son Michael explored the nature of problem solving and the techniquesexplored the nature of problem solving and the techniques that could be used to teach it; conclusions reached werethat could be used to teach it; conclusions reached were based on personal experience, experimentation, andbased on personal experience, experimentation, and personal interviews with individuals such as Albertpersonal interviews with individuals such as Albert EinsteinEinstein
    39. 39. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking Two traditional approaches to teachingTwo traditional approaches to teaching which inhibit the development ofwhich inhibit the development of understanding:understanding: • teaching that emphasizes the importanceteaching that emphasizes the importance of logicof logic • the doctrine of associationismthe doctrine of associationism
    40. 40. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking a c b e d Finding the area of a parallelogram: 1) formula, area of rectangle= altitude X base; 2) draw parallelogram; 3) pupils shown how to drop perpendicular lines; 4) formula same as rectangle, since the parallelogram had been transferred into a rectangle Same idea as first figure; pupils had no difficulty in solving the problem
    41. 41. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking B – responses: A – responses: Problems and solutions involving trapezoidal figures. In the A-responses the subjects change the figures into rectangles by shifting the triangles. In B-responses previously learned operations are applied indiscriminately.
    42. 42. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking A B The areas of the forms in Column A can be found using the strategy of balancing excesses and discrepancies, whereas the forms in Column B cannot be.
    43. 43. Problem SolvingProblem Solving Karl Duncker studies of problem solving among collegeKarl Duncker studies of problem solving among college students:students: Given an inoperable stomach tumor and raysGiven an inoperable stomach tumor and rays (which at high intensity will destroy tissue both(which at high intensity will destroy tissue both healthy and diseased), how can the tumor behealthy and diseased), how can the tumor be destroyed without damaging surrounding tissue?destroyed without damaging surrounding tissue? Typically, the subjects were also shown a schematic sketchTypically, the subjects were also shown a schematic sketch of the problem while it was being presented verbally.of the problem while it was being presented verbally.
    44. 44. Problem SolvingProblem Solving A schematic representation of Duncker’s tumor problem. The ellipse represents the cross section of the diseased area with the tumor in the middle. If the body is rotated, the radiation will be maximal in the center and minimal on the periphery.
    45. 45. Problem SolvingProblem Solving Duncker’s analysis on the stages undergone byDuncker’s analysis on the stages undergone by the subjects during the process:the subjects during the process: • Discovery of the “general or essential propertiesDiscovery of the “general or essential properties of a solution”of a solution” • Functional solutionsFunctional solutions • Specific solutionsSpecific solutions
    46. 46. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking rote memorizationrote memorization -- learner learns facts orlearner learns facts or rules without trulyrules without truly understanding them;understanding them; learning is rigid,learning is rigid, forgotten easily, andforgotten easily, and can be applied only tocan be applied only to limited circumstanceslimited circumstances problem solving basedproblem solving based on Gestalton Gestalt principlesprinciples –– based onbased on an understanding of thean understanding of the underlying nature of theunderlying nature of the problem; learningproblem; learning comes from within thecomes from within the individual, not imposedindividual, not imposed by someone else; easilyby someone else; easily generalizable andgeneralizable and remembered for a longremembered for a long timetime VS.
    47. 47. Productive ThinkingProductive Thinking Proposed that thinking is done inProposed that thinking is done in terms of wholes. The learnerterms of wholes. The learner regards the situation as a whole,regards the situation as a whole, and the teacher must present theand the teacher must present the situation as a whole.situation as a whole. Problem solving should proceed fromProblem solving should proceed from the whole problem downward tothe whole problem downward to the parts, not the reversethe parts, not the reverse Trial-and-error method: A solution to a problem is hidden, in a sense, and the learner may make mistakes before hitting on the correct answer
    48. 48. Memory TraceMemory Trace • A current experience gives rise to a memory processA current experience gives rise to a memory process • Memory processMemory process – the activity in the brain caused by an environmentalthe activity in the brain caused by an environmental experienceexperience – the process could be simple or complex, dependingthe process could be simple or complex, depending on the experience it is based onon the experience it is based on – when a process is terminated, a trace of its effectwhen a process is terminated, a trace of its effect remains in the brainremains in the brain – the trace will influence all similar processes that occurthe trace will influence all similar processes that occur in the futurein the future
    49. 49. Memory TraceMemory Trace • a process, which is caused by ana process, which is caused by an experience, can occur only once in “pure”experience, can occur only once in “pure” form; thereafter, similar experiences resultform; thereafter, similar experiences result from the interaction between the processfrom the interaction between the process and the memory traceand the memory trace • a trace exerts an influence on the processa trace exerts an influence on the process in the direction of making it similar to thein the direction of making it similar to the process which originally produced the traceprocess which originally produced the trace e.g. If the last thing one did in ae.g. If the last thing one did in a problem-solving situation was to solve theproblem-solving situation was to solve the problem, the solution becomes “etched” inproblem, the solution becomes “etched” in one’s mind, making the problem easier toone’s mind, making the problem easier to solve; improvement in a skill as the result ofsolve; improvement in a skill as the result of the increasing influence of the trace on thethe increasing influence of the trace on the processprocess [in essential[in essential agreement withagreement with Guthrie]:Guthrie]: •An act is aAn act is a movement ormovement or series ofseries of movements thatmovements that brings about somebrings about some result.result. • “…“…learning thelearning the entire act calls forentire act calls for repeated practice”repeated practice”
    50. 50. Memory TraceMemory Trace trace systemtrace system – numerous interrelated– numerous interrelated individual tracesindividual traces • through repetition the trace systemthrough repetition the trace system becomes more important than thebecomes more important than the individual traces that make it upindividual traces that make it up • a kind of neurological summation ofa kind of neurological summation of all our experiences with objects in aall our experiences with objects in a certain classcertain class
    51. 51. Memory TraceMemory Trace Traditionally, one theory of memory was that when we perceived anTraditionally, one theory of memory was that when we perceived an object and subsequently were able to recall it, the reason was that aobject and subsequently were able to recall it, the reason was that a “trace” had been left in the brain. As we forgot, this “trace” gradually“trace” had been left in the brain. As we forgot, this “trace” gradually died out.died out. Memory was a dynamic process in which traces underwent progressiveMemory was a dynamic process in which traces underwent progressive changes as time passed; these changes were in accordance withchanges as time passed; these changes were in accordance with the principles of organization that governed the original perceptionsthe principles of organization that governed the original perceptions • Wuff’s study on geometric figures – where the original figure was “weak”Wuff’s study on geometric figures – where the original figure was “weak” (very ambiguous), the subjects tended to sharpen and make it a better(very ambiguous), the subjects tended to sharpen and make it a better figure (good form)figure (good form) • Gibson and Bartlett’s study on serial reproduction – distortions tended toGibson and Bartlett’s study on serial reproduction – distortions tended to occur, but in the direction of good formoccur, but in the direction of good form • Allport and Postman’s study on rumors – shortening and simplifying of theAllport and Postman’s study on rumors – shortening and simplifying of the resultsresults
    52. 52. Memory Trace:Memory Trace: Gibson and Bartlett’s StudyGibson and Bartlett’s Study on Serial Reproductionon Serial Reproduction Original Reproduction 1 Reproduction 2 Reproduction 3 Reproduction 8 Reproduction 9 Reproduction 10 Reproduction 15 Reproduction 18
    53. 53. Memory TraceMemory Trace ““bundle hypothesis”bundle hypothesis” - complex thoughts are- complex thoughts are made up of simplermade up of simpler ideas boundideas bound together bytogether by contiguity, similarity,contiguity, similarity, or contrastor contrast [associationists; also[associationists; also accepted by theaccepted by the behaviorists];behaviorists]; - memory occurs when- memory occurs when one element in theone element in the bundle causes thebundle causes the recall of the otherrecall of the other elements (trigger)elements (trigger) Law of PragnanzLaw of Pragnanz - the wholeness ofthe wholeness of experience and theexperience and the recollection ofrecollection of experience;experience; - memories tend to bememories tend to be complete andcomplete and meaningful, evenmeaningful, even when the originalwhen the original experience was not;experience was not; - irregular experiencesirregular experiences tend to betend to be remembered asremembered as regular, unique eventsregular, unique events remembered in termsremembered in terms of something familiarof something familiar VS.
    54. 54. Kurt Lewin (1890-1947)Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) a famous, charismatic psychologist who is now viewed as the father of social psychology His famous formula for framing behavior, that behavior is a function of the person and the environment, seems self-evident, but in fact is an attempt to reconcile two competing strains of modern psychology. He worked with brilliant and influential minds, yet was unable to obtain a prestigious position in the United States until 1945. He was energetic, congenial and hopeful, yet suffered terrible personal hardships, including his experience as a soldier in World War I, his failed first marriage, the distress of German reconstruction, and finally Nazism. “There is nothing so practical as a good theory."
    55. 55. The Life SpaceThe Life Space C Movie +++++ - - - - -
    56. 56. Field TheoryField Theory ““Human behavior at any given time is determinedHuman behavior at any given time is determined by the total number ofby the total number of psychological factspsychological facts beingbeing experienced at that time.”experienced at that time.” Psychological fact:Psychological fact: anything of which a person isanything of which a person is conscious, includingconscious, including • being hungry,being hungry, • a memory of a past event,a memory of a past event, • being in a certain physical location,being in a certain physical location, • the presence of certain other people,the presence of certain other people, • or having a certain amount of moneyor having a certain amount of money [all these make up the person’s life space][all these make up the person’s life space]
    57. 57. Field TheoryField Theory some of these facts will exert a positivesome of these facts will exert a positive influence on the person’s behavior andinfluence on the person’s behavior and some a negative influence;some a negative influence; a change in any psychological facta change in any psychological fact rearranges the entire life spacerearranges the entire life space →→ thethe causes of behavior are continuallycauses of behavior are continually changing; they are dynamicchanging; they are dynamic
    58. 58. A Handbook of ChildA Handbook of Child Psychology:Psychology: Three Types of ConflictThree Types of Conflict Lewin’s ThreeLewin’s Three Types of Conflict:Types of Conflict: (a) Approach-(a) Approach- approach conflict;approach conflict; (b) Approach-(b) Approach- avoidance conflict;avoidance conflict; and (c) Avoidance-and (c) Avoidance- avoidance conflict.avoidance conflict. C + P + Pl (a) C Tr + - (b) T - - P (c) C VT VP R
    59. 59. Motivation andMotivation and the Zeigarnick Effectthe Zeigarnick Effect Lewin proposed a basic state of balance or equilibriumLewin proposed a basic state of balance or equilibrium between the person and the environment;between the person and the environment; believed that behavior involves a cycle of tensionbelieved that behavior involves a cycle of tension states or need-states followed by activity and reliefstates or need-states followed by activity and relief • Bluma Zeigarnick’s 1927 experiment concluded:Bluma Zeigarnick’s 1927 experiment concluded: The subjects remembered the uncompletedThe subjects remembered the uncompleted tasks more readily than they recalled thetasks more readily than they recalled the completed tasks. (Zeigarnick effect)completed tasks. (Zeigarnick effect) • E.g. waiters, bus conductorsE.g. waiters, bus conductors
    60. 60. Social PsychologySocial Psychology • Group dynamics – application of psychologicalGroup dynamics – application of psychological concepts to individual and group behaviorconcepts to individual and group behavior • Social action research – study of relevant socialSocial action research – study of relevant social problems with a view to introducing changeproblems with a view to introducing change • Sensitivity training for educators and businessSensitivity training for educators and business leaders to reduce inter-group conflict andleaders to reduce inter-group conflict and develop individual potentialdevelop individual potential
    61. 61. LESSER KNOWN GESTALTLESSER KNOWN GESTALT PSYCHOLOGISTSPSYCHOLOGISTS • Kurt Goldstein (1878 -1965) – pioneer in clinicalKurt Goldstein (1878 -1965) – pioneer in clinical neuroscienceneuroscience • Karl Buhler (1879 – 1963) – forerunner of modernKarl Buhler (1879 – 1963) – forerunner of modern cognitive psychologycognitive psychology • Karl Duncker (1903 – 1940) – functional fixednessKarl Duncker (1903 – 1940) – functional fixedness • Mary Henle (1913 - ) – “chronicler of Gestalt psychology”Mary Henle (1913 - ) – “chronicler of Gestalt psychology” • Rudolph Arnheim (1904 – ) – critic of misconceptions ofRudolph Arnheim (1904 – ) – critic of misconceptions of Gestalt psychologyGestalt psychology
    62. 62. THE SPREAD OFTHE SPREAD OF GESTALT PSYCHOLOGYGESTALT PSYCHOLOGY • Mid-1920s a forceful school of thought in Germany, centered at theMid-1920s a forceful school of thought in Germany, centered at the Psychological Institute of the University of BerlinPsychological Institute of the University of Berlin • 1933 when Nazi seized power, many scholars including founders1933 when Nazi seized power, many scholars including founders left for the USleft for the US • personal connections (e.g. Herbert Langfield of Princeton Universitypersonal connections (e.g. Herbert Langfield of Princeton University met Koffka in Berlin and sent his student E.C. Tolman to Germany;met Koffka in Berlin and sent his student E.C. Tolman to Germany; Tolman served as a subject in Koffka’s research program)Tolman served as a subject in Koffka’s research program) • articles by American psychologist Harry Helson, published in thearticles by American psychologist Harry Helson, published in the American Journal of Psychology, also helped spread Gestalt theoryAmerican Journal of Psychology, also helped spread Gestalt theory • Koffka and Kohler visited the US for lectures and conferencesKoffka and Kohler visited the US for lectures and conferences
    63. 63. THE SPREAD OFTHE SPREAD OF GESTALT PSYCHOLOGYGESTALT PSYCHOLOGY Reasons its acceptance as a school of thought came slowly:Reasons its acceptance as a school of thought came slowly: • Behaviorism was at its peak of popularity;Behaviorism was at its peak of popularity; • There was a language barrier, translation delayed full and accurateThere was a language barrier, translation delayed full and accurate dissemination of the Gestalt viewpoint;dissemination of the Gestalt viewpoint; • Misconception that Gestalt psychology dealt only with perception;Misconception that Gestalt psychology dealt only with perception; • The founders settled at small colleges in the US that did not haveThe founders settled at small colleges in the US that did not have graduate programs, so it was difficult for them to attract disciples tograduate programs, so it was difficult for them to attract disciples to carry on their ideas;carry on their ideas; • American psychology has advanced far beyond the ideas of WundtAmerican psychology has advanced far beyond the ideas of Wundt and Titchener than was German psychology, so that it seemed likeand Titchener than was German psychology, so that it seemed like the German psychologists came to America protesting somethingthe German psychologists came to America protesting something that was no longer of any concern.that was no longer of any concern.
    64. 64. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY: CONCEPT MAPCONCEPT MAP GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY Max Wertheimer Kurt Koffka Phi Phenomenon Wolfgang Kohler Organizational Principles (e.g.Pragnanz) Perceptual Principles Figure Ground Continuity Proximity Similarity Closure Productive Thinking Dunker and others Rise of Cognitive Psychology Learning Research Kurt Lewin Bluma Zeigarnik Zeigarnik Effect Advances in Social Psychology
    65. 65. CONTRIBUTIONSCONTRIBUTIONS • Gestalt movement left an indelible imprint on psychologyGestalt movement left an indelible imprint on psychology and influenced work on perception, learning, thinking,and influenced work on perception, learning, thinking, personality, social psychology, and motivation.personality, social psychology, and motivation. Some of Gestalt’s effect on social psychology is found inSome of Gestalt’s effect on social psychology is found in the following concepts:the following concepts: o The Zeigarnik EffectThe Zeigarnik Effect o Group DynamicsGroup Dynamics o Social CognitionSocial Cognition
    66. 66. CONTRIBUTIONSCONTRIBUTIONS • The Gestalt focus on conscious experience centered onThe Gestalt focus on conscious experience centered on a modern version of phenomenology.a modern version of phenomenology. • Many aspects of contemporary cognitive psychologyMany aspects of contemporary cognitive psychology owe their origins to Gestalt psychology.owe their origins to Gestalt psychology. E.C. Tolman’s interesting attempt to wed Gestalt theoryE.C. Tolman’s interesting attempt to wed Gestalt theory with the behavioristic point of view (with the behavioristic point of view (Purposive BehaviorPurposive Behavior in Men and Animalsin Men and Animals). … It is worth noting that despite its). … It is worth noting that despite its emphasis on behavioristic studies of learning, it is aemphasis on behavioristic studies of learning, it is a cognitive theory of how learning occurs. This cognitivecognitive theory of how learning occurs. This cognitive approach again emphasizes the perceptual orientation ofapproach again emphasizes the perceptual orientation of Gestalt psychology even when dealing with behavioralGestalt psychology even when dealing with behavioral processes.processes.
    67. 67. CRITICISMSCRITICISMS • Gestalt psychology had been too dependent on theory, andGestalt psychology had been too dependent on theory, and lacked positive empirical evidence to support the theory (e.g. thelacked positive empirical evidence to support the theory (e.g. the “aha” experience was hard to define).“aha” experience was hard to define). • Although Gestalt psychologists had used experimentation in theirAlthough Gestalt psychologists had used experimentation in their studies, these experiments were poorly controlled and lacked anystudies, these experiments were poorly controlled and lacked any real predictive power. Too often introspection was dependedreal predictive power. Too often introspection was depended upon as the prime method, one which was hard to replicate.upon as the prime method, one which was hard to replicate. • The phenomenological approach was subjective and dualistic.The phenomenological approach was subjective and dualistic. • The isomorphic principle of a map in the brain corresponding toThe isomorphic principle of a map in the brain corresponding to what once experienced was a pure physiological assumption. Itwhat once experienced was a pure physiological assumption. It was a unique explanation, but any proof was entirely indirect.was a unique explanation, but any proof was entirely indirect.
    68. 68. ReferencesReferences • Benjafield, J.G., (1996). The developmental point of view.Benjafield, J.G., (1996). The developmental point of view. A history of psychologyA history of psychology (pp.171-193). Needham(pp.171-193). Needham Heights. MA: Simon & Schuster Company.Heights. MA: Simon & Schuster Company. • Brennan, J. F. (1995). Readings in the history and systems of psychology. Englewood, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.Brennan, J. F. (1995). Readings in the history and systems of psychology. Englewood, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc. • Carlson, N.R. (1990). Psychology: The science of behavior (3Carlson, N.R. (1990). Psychology: The science of behavior (3rdrd edition). USA: Allyn and Bacon.edition). USA: Allyn and Bacon. • Chaplin, J.P. & Krawiec, T.S. Systems and theories of psychology. NY: Rinehart and Winston.Chaplin, J.P. & Krawiec, T.S. Systems and theories of psychology. NY: Rinehart and Winston. • Geuter, Ulfried. German psychology during the Nazi period. p. 165-182 inGeuter, Ulfried. German psychology during the Nazi period. p. 165-182 in Psychology in 20th century thought andPsychology in 20th century thought and society.society. NY: Cambridge University Press.NY: Cambridge University Press. • Henle, M. (1986). 1879 and all that, essays in the theory and history of psychology. NY: Columbia UniversityHenle, M. (1986). 1879 and all that, essays in the theory and history of psychology. NY: Columbia University Press.Press. • Lundin, R.W. (1985). Theories and systems of psychology (3Lundin, R.W. (1985). Theories and systems of psychology (3rdrd edition). D.C. Heath and Company.edition). D.C. Heath and Company. • McMahon, F.B. & McMahon, J.W. (1982). Psychology: The hybrid science (4McMahon, F.B. & McMahon, J.W. (1982). Psychology: The hybrid science (4thth edition). The Dorsey Press.edition). The Dorsey Press. • Robinson, D.N. (1986). An intellectual history of psychology. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press.Robinson, D.N. (1986). An intellectual history of psychology. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. • Schultz, D.P. & Schultz, S.E. (2000). A history of modern psychology 7Schultz, D.P. & Schultz, S.E. (2000). A history of modern psychology 7thth ed.). Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth.ed.). Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth. • Thorne, B.M. & Henley, T.B. (1997). Connections in the history and systems of psychology. Boston: HoughtonThorne, B.M. & Henley, T.B. (1997). Connections in the history and systems of psychology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Mifflin Company. • Zusne, L. (1975). Names in the history of psychology. Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation.Zusne, L. (1975). Names in the history of psychology. Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation.
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