Max Wertheimer: ‘Laws Of Organization In Perceptual Form’ (Part 2)

Carry on part 2 of Max Wertheimer’s ‘Laws Of Organization In Perceptual Form’; you might refer part 1 at here.

Prägnanzstufen
According to the experiments carried out by Wertheimer, if remaining the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th dots at constant positions (Fig. 1) while varying the horizontal position for the rest of dots in gradual increasing distance. The constellations (Fig. 1, Fig. 4 and Fig. 7) display “unique regions” while the rest of intervening rows are more “are more indefinite in character and their arrangement less striking.” (Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 5 and Fig. 6) In comparison, we might find the dots distributed in a relatively equal distance (Fig. 4) display “the predominant impression is that of uniformity.” Wertheimer argues that the locations of the dots are varied, but our impressions “are not psychologically equivalent for all positions.” He infers that there are certain Prägnanzstufen in this perceptual distribution.

1_1

Fig.1. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 2. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 3. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 4. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 5. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 6. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 7. Prägnanzstufen, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

The Factor of Objective Set
The Prägnanzstufen phenomenon leads to The Factor of Objective Set. From different grouping as shown above, Wertheimer assert that “the row is a part in a sequence and the law of its arrangement is such that the constellation resulting from one form of sequence will be different from that given by some other sequence.” Therefore, certain equivocal arrangement will become definite when given as a part in a sequence.

The Factor of Direction
A grouping objects show their attribute of direction perceptually, and sometimes might even overcome other Gestalt laws (i.e. law of proximity and law of similarity) despite the other laws are found at the same time.

Fig. 8. The factor of direction, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 8 shows that a horizontal line and a vertical line are perceived instead of following the law of proximity.

Fig. 9. The factor of direction, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 9 above shows that a horizontal line and an oblique line are perceived.

Fig. 10. The factor of direction, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 10 shows that an irregular oblique line and a vertical line are perceive despite its irregular placement.

Fig. 11. The factor of direction, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 11 shows that a curve line and a vertical line are perceive despite its placement in a curvy direction.

Fig. 12. The factor of direction, drawn on 19 Oct 2013

Fig. 12 shows that two lines are perceived in a more complex placement.

References:
Wertheimer, Max (1923) ‘Laws of Organization in Perceptual Forms’, Untersuchungen zur Lehre von der Gestalt 2 (4), 301-350,http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Wertheimer/Forms/forms.htm (visited 15/10/13)

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