Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that looks at the human mind and behavior as a whole. Originating in the work of Max Wertheimer, Gestalt psychology formed partially as a response to the structuralism of Wilhelm Wundt. The development of this area of psychology was influenced by a number of thinkers, including Immanuel Kant, Ernst Mach and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
"The fundamental "formula" of Gestalt theory might be expressed in this way,” Max Wertheimer wrote. "There are wholes, the behaviour of which is not determined by that of their individual elements, but where the part-processes are themselves determined by the intrinsic nature of the whole. It is the hope of Gestalt theory to determine the nature of such wholes" (1924).
Major Gestalt Psychologists
- Max Wertheimer
- Kurt Koffka
- Wolfgang Kohler