Gestalt Factors.

I did already mention gestalt psychology in the Lady in Red post.

Gestalt psychology goes back to the beginning of the last century, and is normally recognized as being an effort of the gentlemen Max WertheimerWolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka.

The good thing is, that they found, that people have a tendency to make things as easy as possible for themselves, when perceiving. No big news you may say, but early last century is was.

In an article by Max Wertheimer written in 1923, he speaks about certain Gestalt factors. The name of the article, by the way, is “Laws of Organization in Perceptual Forms”. Well, in English that is.

Wertheimer says:

When we are presented with a number of stimuli we do not as a rule experience “a number” of individual things, this one and that and that. Instead larger wholes separated from and related to one another are given in experience; their arrangement and division are concrete and definite“.

In other words; a filtering take place both related to the individual’s experience (as we all know) , but in the this context the most important thing might be, that some of this filtering is “objectively governed”.

Wertheimer, talks about a number of factors, or laws governing human perception They are right here:

1) The factor of Proximity

2) The factor of Similarity

3) Tha factor of Uniform Destiny or Common Faith

4) The factor of Objective set

5) The factor of Direction

6) The factor of Closure

7) The factor of Experience or Habit

8) The factor of The Good Curve

I have found a couple of good links on the net, that will take you a bit further, even if the phrasing is a little different from mine. Here is one of these links. The overview is written by psychologist Kendra van Wagner.

Use it, unless you are already on your way to the nearest library.

In forthcoming posts, I will try to show how the Gestalt basics, and the factors mentioned, are useful when dealing with communication. Both when constructing communicative acts, like and ad or a picture for an ad, and in deconstructing them e.g. for purposes of analysis and evaluation.

One thought on “Gestalt Factors.

  1. Well, if you want articles by Kendra van Wagner, you need to go to here site and subscribe to her newsletter or mail her directly.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes


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