gestalt-featured-graphicThere is a lot of misinformation that circulates around the desktops of your grandpa and the tablet of your younger sister.

We are overloaded with information from sources like school, our home lives, and religion, as well as social spheres telling us what is right by blood and voyeuristic Facebook share.

Even though we have an innate bloodthirst to know, we do have a quite a diverse library at our grimy fingertips.

You can truly educate yourself with tons of academic articles, scientific data, and fuggin scholarly sources (s/o to all my past librarians, you boos it)!

As I age, I’m continuously reminded how essential it is to be someone who exposes oneself to constant learning, in accurate, personal ways.

One of the most relieving things about a person is finding out that they do “research”.

They don’t scream it, it’s not pretentious, it’s as quiet as a sleepy idiosyncrasy. But it informs you about them seamlessly.

Most importantly, they aren’t a Blind Billy.

A Blind Billy (a term I just made up) is someone who has beliefs on culture, nutrition, ideologies, some may say rap choices, etc, that are unfounded by modern fact.

Billy, hun, get yourself to a computer and do the damn thing.

People preach because they’re trying to educate, and consequently have a following because followers feel enlightened by newfound knowledge.

But instead of listening to the preachers BILLY, do it yourself, pick a topic you’ve always wanted to know about and do some intensive shit one night with a six-pack.

Want to know if meat is truly bad for you? Look it up!

Want to know the psychological effects of being homeschooled? Hit that keyboard.

Know the actual wage gap? No? Silly Bill, crunch those numbers!

The most rewarding thing in the world is to keep growing and shaping yourself into a weapon of intellect and badassery and self-empowerment.

It’s become part of my self-care routine.

Especially those topics you’ve been lectured about a THOUSAND times over, see if they have holes, see what you can refute.

You may become *shook* but it’s better than being close-minded, and quite frankly, reeeeeeally difficult to talk to.

Just like being well-read about the topics you care about helps your opinions flourish, having knowledge of psychology and behavioral psychology helps design flourish.

And it has been my latest research project.

I’ve talked about it before with proxemics, and how merely positioning your seat at a table can affect how you are viewed.

Anna has talked about it relentlessly with finding your sense of psychological place is as crucial as making a physical one.
Apparently, this is our jam.

And today (our biscuits if you will), Gestalt Theory it is.

Gestalt Theory was founded in 1910 by three German psychologists, Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Kohler.

It started with Max Wertheimer and his observations about complete visual pictures and what is called “apparent movement”.

Apparent Movement is the phenomena that occurs when we observe something moving when it really is a rapid succession of individual sensory events.

Think of lights on an elevator lighting each floor button like the individual light is moving up the floors with you, when in fact each light is lighting independently.

Gestalt Theory uses this apparent motion to shape the idea that there is absolutely an effect of a whole event.

There is whole that is made out of a sum of parts.

The “whole” has a different effect than viewing the multiple components as separate entities.

It applies to behavior, aesthetic, structure…and eons more.

Law of Pragnanz

This law explains our generally obsessive puppy love crushes and constant J-14 quizzes where we’d analyze our pubescent love interest and the angle in which he was wearing his hat.

It states we inherently look for meaning within symbols, shapes, and figures.

Pragnanz is German for full with meaning or pregnant with meaning.

But not just any meaning, the law says we have an inclination to observe things in a good of a Gestalt as we can.

A Gestalt, once again, means organized whole, so we take independent parts and attempt to connect them into a meaningful whole figure/story/etc.

Your over-analytical tendency to connect things into a bigger picture may not be a quirky habit but merely very commonplace behavior.

The Law of Closure

This law is the more simplistic of the bunch: we take subjects and figures and try to complete them visually.

Think about a square, circle, or triangle, and it having the smallest piece missing…you would be able to visually complete it and still associate the figure with the intended shape.

According to this law, we close the gap in order to link the identity with the supposed shape. 4-shapes

Law of Similarity

This one is all about relation, the human eye likes to group together by pattern, color, shape, and texture.

We see this used in countless interiors, like the creation of a multi-textured bed, or in the find-the-first-word-you-see puzzles that point towards what your brain has been “manifesting”.

exhibit a
exhibit a

Normally I’ll find anything but a word, that’s a personal problem.

Law of Proximity

The Law of Proximity claims objects placed close together are perceived as a group.

So logically, when objects are spaced further apart they are viewed or registered as separate.

The eye enjoys following continuity and therefore forms aggregated groups where it can.

Want individual things to appear as a collective? Place them close together.

Bless these peepers!

Law of Figure/Grounddrops

Foreground, background, or object is rhetoric typical of painting, illustration, cinematography or photography.

Its origin has a lot to do with this law.

When speaking about a figure, it must have object-like character that overpowers the ground.

The figure should leap off the page in a way that separates itself from the background. This is created by establishing a depth of field with the use of shadow or color.

That is why the “object” is typically as seen something that is positioned in the front and the ground is at a plane further back.

The Law of Figure/Ground is a huge component that has come from Gestalt that has shaped virtually every art to this day.

Thank Gestalt for finally having names to your weird psychological habits.



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