Gestalt Psychology - Theoretical Framework and Methodology

Theoretical Framework and Methodology

The investigations developed at the beginning of the 20th century, based on traditional scientific methodology, divided the object of study into a set of elements that could be analyzed separately with the objective of reducing the complexity of this object. Contrary to this methodology, the school of gestalt practiced a series of theoretical and methodological principles that attempted to redefine the approach to psychological research.

The theoretical principles are the following:

  • Principle of Totality – The conscious experience must be considered globally (by taking into account all the physical and mental aspects of the individual simultaneously) because the nature of the mind demands that each component be considered as part of a system of dynamic relationships.
  • Principle of psychophysical isomorphism – A correlation exists between conscious experience and cerebral activity.

Based on the principles above the following methodological principles are defined:

  • Phenomenon experimental analysis – In relation to the Totality Principle any psychological research should take as a starting point phenomena and not be solely focused on sensory qualities.
  • Biotic experiment – The school of gestalt established a need to conduct real experiments which sharply contrasted with and opposed classic laboratory experiments. This signified experimenting in natural situations, developed in real conditions, in which it would be possible to reproduce, with higher fidelity, what would be habitual for a subject.

Read more about this topic:  Gestalt Psychology

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