Reaction Paper on Group Dynamics

Topics: Gestalt psychology, Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler Pages: 6 (1592 words) Published: July 24, 2012
* What is Gestalt Psychology?
* 20th century
* German: “essence or shape of an entity’s complete form” * Berlin school: is a theory of mind and brain
* Modern study of perception(visual)
* describe how people organize visual elements into groups or “unified wholes” when certain principles are applied. * Operational Principle of Gestalt psychology:
Brain is holistic, parallel and analog with self organizing tendencies. Precursor:
* Christian Von Ehrenfels
* David Hume
* Johann Wolfgang GESTALT
* Immanuel Kant
* David Hartley THEORY
* Ernst Mach
* Kurt Koffka
* Max Wertheimer
* Wolfgang Kohler
* Max Wertheimer
* founder of "Gestalt Psychology“
* He was born in Prague on April 15, 1880. 
* Central ideas: wholeness, interdependence, contexts, the field. Rather than things "being made of" their parts. Compare an engine to the collection of parts that make it up. The whole is different from the sum of its parts. (Not "greater than.") * In 1910, he went to the University of Frankfurt’s Psychological Institute.  While on vacation that same year, he became interested in the perceptions he experienced on a train.  While stopped at the station, he bought a toy stroboscope -- a spinning drum with slots to look through and pictures on the inside, sort of a primitive movie machine or sophisticated flip book * Wolfgang Köhler

* Born January 21, 1887, in Reval, Estonia.  He received his PhD in 1908 from the University of Berlin.  He then became an assistant at the Psychological Institute in Frankfurt, where he met and worked with Max Wertheimer. *  In 1917, he wrote his most famous book, Mentality of Apes. * Animals when faced with problem-solving situations behave much more meaningfully than behaviorists say. From Koher's point of view, the Ape is sitting in a corner looking for relationships which will lead to a solution BUS, BATH, AND BED. Kohler observed that the solution of problems is often suddenly presented to us when we are not actively concerned with them. * Kurt Koffka

* Born March 18, 1886, in Berlin.  He received his PhD from the University of Berlin in 1909, and, just like Köhler, became an assistant at Frankfurt. * CONVERGENCE. A compromise on the nativist controversy. Koffka accepted William Stern's convergence theory that every capacity is the result of a collaboration of inner and outer conditions of development. * LEARNING. Submitted reflex and instinct to Gestalt analysis. Noted tendency of instinct to work toward some goal. (an instance of closure) influenced Tolman. * APPLIED LAWS OF PERCEPTUAL ORGANIZATION TO LEARNING PROBLEMS. Used Kohler's Chimpanzee results to challenge trial and error learning. Trial and error vs. insight. * Koffka said traditional puzzle boxes and mazes forced animal to trial and error learning because no other approach was possible under those circumstances. Thus the artifacts of the procedure were seen as results of the study. An obstacle between the animal and the goal should be such as to allow intelligent, insightful behavior. * Behavior should be regarded not as separate responses to separtate stimili, but as governed by a total organismic field of interacting forces. The self is ortganized into definite but changing patterns. Spoke of the field of direct experience * The Theory

* Gestalt psychology is based on the observation that we often experience things that are not a part of our simple sensations.  * The original observation was Wertheimer’s, when he noted that we perceive motion where there is nothing more than a rapid sequence of individual sensory events. 

* This is what he saw in the toy stroboscope he bought at the Frankfurt train station, and what he saw in his laboratory when he experimented with lights flashing in rapid...
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