Gestalt Theory

Gestalt Theory

Author: Nancy Esslinger

In this lesson you will learn to define and recognize the use of gestalt theory, a sensory theory of communications.

See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

27 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

245 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 21 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Notes on "Gestalt Theory"


Terms to Know
  • Gestalt Principles

    First proposed by German psychologists, based on the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Law of Closure

    Elements tend to be perceived as a complete whole if they are aligned, even if some information is missing.

  • Law of Common Fate

    Elements that move in the same direction will tend to be perceived as a group.

  • Law of Continuity

    The eye will naturally follow the smoothest path.

  • Law of Proximity

    Elements that are close to one another appear to form groups, even if they have different characteristics.

  • Law of Similarity

    Elements that share characteristics tend to be perceived as a group.

  • Max Wertheimer

    Czech psychologist and one of the founders of Gestalt psychology.