noun, plural ge·stalts, ge·stal·ten [guh–shtahl-tn, –shtawl-, –stahl-, –stawl-] /gəˈʃtɑl tn, -ˈʃtɔl-, -ˈstɑl-, -ˈstɔl-/. (sometimes initial capital letter) Psychology.
- a configuration, pattern, or organized field having specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of its component parts; a unified whole.
- an instance or example of such a unified whole.
noun plural -stalts or -stalten (-ˈʃtæltən)
- (sometimes not capital) a perceptual pattern or structure possessing qualities as a whole that cannot be described merely as a sum of its partsSee also Gestalt psychology
1922, from German Gestaltqualität (1890, introduced by German philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels, 1859-1932), from German gestalt “shape, form, figure, configuration, appearance,” abstracted from ungestalt “deformity,” noun use of adj. ungestalt “misshapen,” from gestalt, obsolete past participle of stellen “to place, arrange” (see stall (n.1)). As a school of psychology, it was founded c.1912 by M Wertheimer, K. Koffka, W. Köhler.
n. pl. ge•stalts
- A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.gestalt phenomenon