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Gestalt theory is a broadly interdisciplinary general theory which provides a framework for a wide variety of psychological phenomena, processes, and applications. Human beings are viewed as open systems[?] in active interaction with their environment. It is especially suited for the understanding of order and structure in psychological events. Early 20th century theorists, such as Koffka, Wertheimer, and Kohler saw objects as perceived within an environment according to all of their elements taken together as a global construct. This 'gestalt',or 'whole form'approach sought to isolate principles of perception; seemingly innate mental 'laws', which determined the way in which objects were perceived. These laws took several forms, such as the grouping of similar, or proximate objects together,within this global process. Although it has been criticised for being merely descriptive, it has formed the basis of much further research into the perception of patterns and objects.(ref: Carlson, Buskist & Martin, 2000)

See also: Fritz Perls

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