Gestalt psychology

Gestalt psychology, gestaltism or configurationism[1] is a school of psychology that emerged in the early twentieth century in Austria and Germany as a theory of perception that was a rejection of basic principles of Wilhelm Wundt's and Edward Titchener's elementalist and structuralist psychology.[2][3][4]

As used in Gestalt psychology, the German word Gestalt (/ɡəˈʃtælt, -ˈʃtɑːlt, -ˈʃtɔːlt, -ˈstɑːlt, -ˈstɔːlt/ gə-SHTA(H)LT, -STAHLT, -S(H)TAWLT,[5][6] German: [ɡəˈʃtalt] (listen); meaning "form"[7]) is interpreted as "pattern" or "configuration".[8] Gestalt psychologists emphasized that organisms perceive entire patterns or configurations, not merely individual components.[8] The view is sometimes summarized using the adage, "the whole is more than the sum of its parts."[9] Gestalt principles, proximity, similarity, figure-ground, continuity, closure, and connection, describe how humans perceive visuals in connection with different objects and environments.

Gestalt psychology was founded on works by Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka.[8]