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Results: Gestalt criticisms
Some weeks ago, I posted a request for articles that
criticize Gestalt-style explanations for being vague or
after the fact. A number of people asked me to share the
results of my inquiry.
In the end, I found that the clearest criticisms of this
type occur in a textbook by Goldstein (1996, pp. 190-194)
and a book chapter by Pomerantz (1986, pp. 7-8):
Goldstein, E.B. (1996). *Sensation and perception* (4th
edition). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Pomerantz, J.R. (1986). Visual form perception. Vol. 2,
pp. 1-30 in *Pattern recognition by humans and machines*
(Schwab, E.C., & Nusbaum, H.C., Eds.) Orlando, FL:
As a number of respondents pointed out, the physiological
claims of Gestalt theory have also been criticized. In
addition, to some degree the theory has simply passed out
of fashion as researchers became interested in different
levels of explanation -- neurological, computational, or
ecological. Finally, there have been attempts to defend the
theory or to shore it up in answer to criticisms. I have
not had a chance to investigate the pertinent citations,
since they did not address my immediate needs. However,
I will share those citations if asked.
Many thanks to all who replied.
Paul von Hippel
School of Music
Ohio State University
1866 College Road
Columbus, OH 43210
(You can also reach me by simply replying to this message.
All my mail is forwarded to the same final destination.)