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Indeterminacy of the isomorphism heuristic

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We are less prone today than in Köhler's time to believe in a unified science. The Gestalt program could therefore safely abandon the psychophysical isomorphism heuristic if it wished to. Indeterminacy of the heuristic might be a reason for doing so. The determination of the components involved in the isomorphism of the visual field as well as the electrocortical events would have to occur simultaneously. In the Gestalt program, however, components are determined by their position in the whole. They can therefore not be compared in different contexts, so no independent test of a candidate heuristic is possible.

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van Leeuwen, C. Indeterminacy of the isomorphism heuristic. Psychol. Res 52, 1–4 (1990).

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  • Visual Field
  • Independent Test
  • Candidate Heuristic
  • Electrocortical Event