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Gestalt qualities (Gestaltqualitäten or form qualities in German) were introduced by Christian von Ehrenfels (1859-1932) some of whose work led to the development of gestalt psychology.

The term refers to the sense of wholeness that a subject experiences as a result of of patterns of stimulation. The qualities were based on tests done by flashing lights for certain amounts of time.

This discovery later led to the famous Gestalt effect discovered by Max Wertheimer[citation needed].

While von Ehrenels suggested that the Gestaltqualität was a perceptual element, this was disputed by later Gestalt psychologists.


  • Reber, A.S & Reber, E.S. (2001). Dictionary of Psychology. London. Penguin

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