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March 1932

PRINCIPLES OF GESTALT IN COPIED FORM IN MENTALLY DEFECTIVE AND SCHIZOPHRENIC PERSONS

Author Affiliations

Research Assistant in Schizophrenia BALTIMORE

From the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1932;27(3):661-686. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02230150177009
Abstract

Wertheimer,1 in investigations into the theory of Gestalt, used a series of figures, which he presented to a number of normal persons; he then had them describe what they perceived in order to discover what sort of visual "Gestalten" were formed and to determine what principles were back of optically perceived form. Some of the principles established by him were that optically perceived form, or "Gestalt," was determined by proximity of parts, similarity in forms, continuity of geometric forms and internal organization. These principles together formed the so-called "gute Gestalt."

It was thought that it would be of some interest to utilize Wertheimer's figures to determine if perception in schizophrenia followed the same principles. It was not possible to get patients with advanced schizophrenia to describe their perceptions, but it was found that many of even the most uncommunicative would copy the designs with pencil and paper. The same

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