Gestalt Principles ge

Gestalt Principles
What are the Gestalt Principles?
Gestalt is a psychological term which
means ‘unified whole’. It was discovered
by the German psychologists in the
1920’s and refers to the visual
perceptions. There are four cues in the
Gestalt Principle; closure, proximity,
similarity and figure-ground. Gestalt
principles refer to how humans try to
group visual elements.
Closure is the tendency to fill up or close
up gaps in a visual image to see a whole
image. If enough of the shape is
indicated, humans perceive the whole
image by filling in the missing
In each of these pictures,
we are closing up the
black and white gaps to
view an entire image.
Proximity refers to the nearness between
objects. Humans perceive parts of a
visual image which are positioned close
as belonging in a group.
In the first image, we have to differentiate
between the fingers and the pebbles because
of the proximity between them. Whereas the
second image, they are unevenly spread out so
there is no entire image we can view.
Similarity is the tendency to perceive
parts of a visual image that have similar
features. We usually perceive them as a
group or a pattern.
Though none of the
shapes in this picture
are joined, we
perceive the image
as a whole group of
patterns to see an
image. Here we see
the head of an
eagle surrounded by
triangular spokes
representing the sun.
Figure-ground is when something stands
out against a different background. It
is out perceptual tendency to separate
whole figures from their backgrounds
depending on the variability of the
background, e.g. its colour, shape, size
Here we see either a circle, or a
larger or smaller square. Depending
on which one we pay more
attention too, we will see that
image as our figure and the other
as our ground.

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