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theories of learning

ruwel john felipe

on 15 February 2013

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V. Memory II. the Mind-Body Problem III. Learning 7. Principle of Figure and Ground
This was the most important principles of “primitive organization.” It stated that any perception would tend to organize itself into a figure that stood out from its background. An instructor sitting at a desk in front of the class would be perceived as the figure, and other object such as blackboard or window in the rear would constitute as the ground.
Article published in 1923. Wertheimer set a fourth group of principles as illustrations of how the perceptual field could be organized. It should be remembered that these ways of organization were quite natural or native and often have been referred to as a “primitive organization.” Generally, the gestalt psychologists have deemphasized the role of learning in perception, as stated by Kohler in 1947. The grouping see will tend to be quite natural (nativism again) I. Principles of Learning in Perception 1. Proximity Principle

The principle of proximity or contiguity states that things which are closer together will be seen as belonging together. Looking at the picture below, since the horizontal rows of circles are closer together than the vertical columns, we perceive two vertical lines. Since the first two columns and the last two columns have less space between them than the center two columns, we perceive two groups of two columns.
3. Principle of Objectivity Set
If one saw a particular kind of organization and got a mental “set” for it, it might be possible to continue see that the organization even though the stimulus arrangement might be slightly altered.
2. Principle of Similarity

The principle of similarity states that things which share visual characteristics such as shape, size, color, texture, value or orientation will be seen as belonging together.
In the example to the right, the two filled lines give our eyes the impression of two horizontal lines, even though all the circles are equidistant from each other.
Type a was the most productive. It involves the process of centering and recentering. In centering, one attained a detached view of situation , viewing it objectively as a whole. In recentering, there was a taking on of new perspective, in involving a new approach from which to view the problem and leading to an achievement of solution.

Type y thinking was usually a blind trial-and-error approach. If a solution were achieved, it occurred quite by accident. This was definitely unproductive thinking which should be avoided.

Type b is quite productive and partly unproductive. You are using a certain solutions though there is another solution easier than the solution you are used to.
5. Principle of Prgnanz

The reality is reduced or organized to the simplest form to possible. For example what wee see in image below was a series of circles rather than as many as much more than complicated shape.
6. Principle of Closure

When certain parts of our perceptual organization were left out, there was a tendency to “fill in the gaps,” in other words, to make the Gestalt complete. If a figure was shown in which the lines were incomplete, as in certain sketches or water color paintings, the perceiver was inclined to complete it.
Gestalt theory Set and Context 4. Principle of Continuity (Principle of Direction or Good Continuation)

According to this principle, the stimuli that have continuity with each other are perceived as flowing in the same or following the same pattern, and will be seen as a figure.

8. Principle of Isomorphism

To understand the principle of Isomorphism as it relates to Gestalt psychology, we must refer to Wertheimer’s first experiment the Phi phenomenon. When two lines were presented in alteration, at a certain point, rather than seeing the lines alternating, one perceived actual movement, one line shifting back and forth. The Isomorphic assumed one to one relationship between what actually perceived and what happened in the cortex of the brain. to understand what is happening in the brain field , one had to assumed that there were both cohesive and restraining forces. The cohesive forces were tendencies to excitation of nerve impulses on the cerebral cortex which attracted each other if there was nothing to interfere with them. The restraining forces on the other hand , would prevent the cohesive forces. Isomorphism, then, was the solution to the mind-body problem. It was parallelism, but not psychophysical parallelism of the structuralists, which had presumed a one-to-one relationship between the physical and mental events. For Gestalt psychologists, it became a psycho-physiological parallelism between the phenomenological (perceived or mental) field and the activity in the brain field. The picture created by the cohesive and restraining forces ran parallel to the mental. There was, of course, still third field, the real physical world or geographical field. In many cases we have seen in the illusion of apparent movement, this is not necessarily corresponding to the phenomenological Insight
When the first faced with a problem, the organism ponders several possible solutions. When learning occurs and a solution is found, the organism has gained insight. In the presolution period, an organism will set up a number of “hypotheses,” or possibilities for solving the problem. In some ways, this stage resembles Thorndike’s “Trial and error” learning. However once the solution has been reached, insight occurs and learning is sudden, rather than gradual. Typically, once a solution is learned, on further trials the organism will proceed immediately to the solution without any further random behavior.
Other aspects of insight involved good retention and what the Gestalt psychologists called transposition, or “Transfer,” which involves learning a principle in one situation and applying it another. What is carried over, however is a “whole” or Gestalt, and not an identical element, as proposed by Thorndike. IV. Productive Thinking

The basic principle of productive thinking was to let the whole dominate its parts. In solving problem, one should never lose sight of the problem as whole, even though it might be necessary to attend to certain details. In the process, it might be necessary to change one’s attack, such as to regroup or reorganize. Nevertheless, one should take blindly or haphazardly. The procedure was from above downwards, or from whole to its parts.
Three Types of thinking
1) Type A
2) Type B
3) Type Y

Their view was that memory was a dynamic process in which traces underwent progressive changes as time passed; and these changes were in accordance with a principles of organization that governed the original perceptions
VI. Evaluation Criticisms of Gestalt Psychology

• Organization of perceptual processes accepted as fact rather than studied scientifically
• Basic concepts and terms are not defined with sufficient rigor
• Too preoccupied with theory at the expense of research and empirical support
• Quality of Gestalt experimental work is inferior to that of the behaviorists
o Research lacks adequate controls
o Its unquantified data elude statistical analysis
o Insight learning: not replicable
• Poorly defined physiological assumptions Contributions of Gestalt psychology

Permanent imprint on psychology
o Influenced work in perception, learning, thinking, personality, social psychology, and motivation• Retained its identity, not absorbed by the mainstream as was behaviorism
• Broke ground for cognitive movement
• Fostered interest in consciousness as a legitimate problem for psychology
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