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Lisa Jo Rudy
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Hello Dr. DeFalco!  Actually, the phrase is “the whole is GREATER than the sum of its parts,” which suggests that Gestalt allows people to experience or become aware of MORE than they would if they broke things down into their constituent parts!

Setting that aside, though, I’d argue that different people are more or less likely to experience the “gestalt” of their environments. As a person with extensive experience researching and writing about autism, for example, I’d suggest that autistic people are generally far more aware than the typical person of the individual aspects of their environment. Many find it exceptionally hard to put together all those detailed observations into a full understanding of the environment as a whole. As a result, they may be able to tell you exactly when and where something occurred — but be unable to tell you what the occurrence meant in the larger content.

You might call it “seeing the trees instead of the forest!”


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