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(gəshtält`) [Ger.,=form], school of psychology that interprets phenomena as organized wholes rather than as aggregates of distinct parts, maintaining that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The term Gestalt was coined by the philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels in 1890, to denote experiences that require more than the basic sensory capacities to comprehend. In 1912, the movement was given impetus in psychology by German theorists Max WertheimerWertheimer, Max
, 1880–1943, German psychologist, b. Prague. He studied at the universities of Prague, Berlin, and Würzburg (Ph.D., 1904). His original researches, while he was a professor at Frankfurt and Berlin, placed him in the forefront of contemporary psychology.
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, Wolfgang KöhlerKöhler, Wolfgang
, 1887–1967, American psychologist, b. Estonia, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1909. From 1913 to 1920 he was director of a research station on Tenerife, Canary Islands.
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, and Kurt KoffkaKoffka, Kurt
, 1886–1941, American psychologist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1908. Before settling permanently in the United States in 1928 as a professor at Smith, he taught at Cornell and at the Univ. of Wisconsin.
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 as a protest against the prevailing atomistic, analytical psychological thought. It was also a departure from the general intellectual climate, which emphasized a scientific approach characterized by a detachment from basic human concerns. According to the school, understanding of psychological phenomena such as perceptual illusions could not be derived by merely isolating the elementary parts for analysis, because human perception may organize sensory stimuli in any number of ways, making the whole different from the sum of the parts. Gestalt psychologists suggest that the events in the brain bear a structural correspondence to psychological events; indeed, it has been shown that steady electric currents in the brain correspond to structured perceptual events. The Gestalt school has made substantial contributions to the study of learning, recall, and the nature of associations, as well as important contributions to personality and social psychology. Gestalt therapy, developed after World War II by Frederick Perls, believes that a person's inability to successfully integrate the parts of his personality into a healthy whole may lie at the root of psychological disturbance. In therapy, the analyst encourages clients to release their emotions, and to recognize these emotions for what they are. Gestalt psychology has been thought of as analogous to field physics.


See W. Köhler, The Task of Gestalt Psychology (1969); Max W. Productive Thinking (rev. ed. 1959, repr. 1978); G. Higgins, Gestalt Psychology and the Theory of Emotional Growth (1987); D. Rosenblatt, Opening Doors: What Happens in Gestalt Therapy (1989).


A complex of weather elements occurring in a familiar form, and though not necessarily referring to basic hydrodynamical or thermodynamical quantities, may persist for an appreciable length of time and is often considered to be an entity in itself.
References in periodicals archive ?
41) 'Als kreisten in mahnenden Bildern die Gestalten der
24) "Dieses Werden, wie es in seinem Inhalte und den Gestalten, die sich in ihm zeigen, sich aufstellen wird, wird nicht das sein, was man zunachst unter einer Anleitung des unwissenschaftlichen Bewusstseins zur Wissenschaft sich vorstellt, auch etwas anderes als die Begrundung der Wissenschaft, --so ohnehin als die Begeisterung, die wie aus der Pistole mit dem absoluten Wissen unmittelbar anfangt und mit anderen Standpunkten dadurch schon fertig ist, dass sie keine Notiz davon zu nehmen erklart".
Para "Hegel", como he sugerido, Dios esta muy vivo, revelandose a si mismo en el sistema con mayor perfeccion de lo que lo habia hecho nunca antes en las Gestalten en las que, en la construccion hegeliana, era mas un "ocultamiento" que una "revelacion".
Die physischen Gestalten in Ruhe und im stationaren Zustand.
2007) Unternehmensbesteuerung europaisch gestalten, Bonn, Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, June.
Das Musterbild der Manner, so der Frauen / In deutlichen Gestalten will er schauen.
Los gestalten que interesaron a los minimalistas fueron la relacion forma/fundamento y figuras abstractas del cuadrado, el rectangulo y el circulo.
The reader cannot engage properly with bland stereotypes or with freakish exceptions, and far preferable is a blend of unique and generic traits: 'Ich perenlich bin sehr fur Gestalten in der Kunst, die nicht bloss Typ und nicht bloss Individuum sind.
Tanto la perspectiva estructural de las actitudes como la perspectiva estructural de las representaciones sociales comparten la idea de esquema, porque las dos tradiciones de investigacion se apoyan en la idea de Gestalten.
Ja, er hat sich nicht einmal der Muhe unterzogen, die Transkription konsequent zu gestalten Oder Fehler, die die Kritik im ersten Teil [i.
That Kuehn fails, also, to include any selections from Guardini's probing study on Dostoevsky, Religiose Gestalten in Dostojewskijs Werk (1951), several chapters of which appeared in English translation in the American journal Cross Currents in 1952 and 1956, and also from The Virtues (1963, 1967), on "forms of moral life," adds to one's disappointment, especially when an editor sets out to present "the essential Guardini" to a new generation of readers.
En el ciclo de la experiencia pueden darse diferentes tipos de interrupciones o bloqueos, que limitan el darse cuenta, el cierre y destruccion de gestalten.