gestalt theory



Psychology concept used in training. It proposes that what is 'seen' is what appears to the seer and not what may 'actually be there,' and that the nature of a unified whole is not understood by analyzing its parts. It views learning as a reorganizing of a whole situation (often involving insight as a critical factor) in contrast to the behavioral psychology view that learning consists of associations between stimuli and responses. Gestalt experiments show that the brain does not act like a sponge (as a passive receiver of information) but actively filters, structures, and matches all incoming information against known patterns to make sense of it. Gestalt theory was proposed by the Austrian psychologist Christian von Ehrenfels (1859-1932) in 1890.

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