Gestalt Principles: Perception

Perception Definition: A perception is a belief held by a person, or many people, based upon how they see the world around them.

Gestalt Principle Definition: The Gestalt School of Psychology was led by Max Wertheimer in Germany. This school was set up to help develop theories which could be used to make visual perceptions. Gestalt is German for ‘Unified Whole’. The theories which were developed within the school were made to try and show how people visualise elements and put them into certain groups.

Figure and Ground

This theory shows that people focus on certain aspects of a situation, therefore missing out other important parts. Take a look at some examples of this below;

Gestalt Figure The Ground


This theory proves to us that we interpret situations using experience, not just what we are seeing at that moment in time. For example, if we see each corner of a circle, but don’t actually see the circle, we will still interpret it as a circle. Take a look at some examples of this below;

Gestalt Triangle Reification


When looking at images our eyes naturally follow the line, or curve, therefore leading us to something else. This can be used on organisations and management because it shows direction, creating images that the organisation is moving forward. Take a look at some examples of this below;

Continuation Gestalt