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Encyclopedia > Kurt Lewin

Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890February 12, 1947) was a German psychologist and one of the pioneers of social psychology. Often called the father of social psychology, he was one of the first researchers to study group dynamics and organizational development, and was a proponent of Gestalt psychology. September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the mind, brain, and behavior, both human and nonhuman. ... Social psychology is often conceived to be the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. ... The term group dynamics implies that individual behaviours may differ depending on individuals current or prospective connections to a sociological group. ... The field of organization development (OD) has had several definitions. ... Gestalt psychology (also Gestalt theory of the Berlin School) is a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. ...

Lewin coined the notion of "genidentity", which has gained some importance in various theories of space-time and related fields. He also proposed the interactionist perspective as an alternative to the Nature versus nurture debate, in that he suggested that neither nature (inborn tendencies) nor nurture (how we are shaped by experiences in life) alone can account for individuals' behavior and personalities, but rather that both nature and nurture interact to shape each person. Prominent psychologist mentored by Kurt Lewin included Leon Festinger, known for his cognitive dissonance theory. The concept of genidentity, introduced by Kurt Lewin in his 1922 Habilitationsschrift Der Begriff der Genese in Physik, Biologie und Entwicklungsgeschichte is today perhaps the only surviving evidence of Lewins influence on the philosophy of science. ... In special relativity and general relativity, time and three-dimensional space are treated together as a single four-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold called spacetime. ... Symbolic interactionism is a sociological perspective which examines how individuals and groups interact, focusing on the creation of personal identity through interaction with others. ... Nature versus nurture is a shorthand expression for debates about the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. ... Leon Festinger (born May 8, 1919 - February 11, 1989) was a social psychologist from New York City who became famous for his Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. ... Cognitive dissonance is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, which can be defined as any element of knowledge, attitude, emotion, belief or value, or a goal, plan, or interest. ...

Lewin was born to a Jewish family in Mogilno, Poland (then in County of Mogilno, province of Posen, Germany). He joined the German Armed Forces when World War I began, during which he could (due to a war wound) complete his Ph.D. with Carl Stumpf as doctoral thesis supervisor. He emigrated to the United States in August 1933 and became a naturalized citizen in 1940. He died in Newtonville, Massachusetts of a heart attack. The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... Mogilno is a town in central Poland, situated in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship (since 1999), previously in Bydgoszcz Voivodship (1975-1998). ... One of several Kreise (English: counties) in the northern administrative district of Bromberg, in the Prussian province of Posen. ... The Province of Posen (German: , Polish: ) was a province of Prussia from 1846-1918. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Carl Stumpf (21 April 1848 - 25 December 1936) was a philosopher and psychologist. ... Naturalization is the process whereby a person becomes a national of a nation, or a citizen of a country, other than the one of his birth. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Newtonville is a village of Newton, Massachusetts. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq. ...

Impact on organizational development

Action research is a method for intentional learning from experience, originally formulated by social psychologist Kurt Lewin. ... Force field analysis is one of the most influential developments in the field of social science. ...


  • Marrow, Alfred J. The Practical Theorist: The Life and Work of Kurt Lewin (1969, 1984) ISBN 0934698228 (Marrow was one of Lewin's students)
  • White, Ralph K., and Ronald O. Lippitt, Autocracy and Democracy (1960, 1972) ISBN 0837157102 (the research described here was carried out when Lewin was White & Lippitt's thesis advisor; it is also briefly described in chapter 12 of Marrow's book.)

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Kurt Lewin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (336 words)
Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890 – February 12, 1947) was a German psychologist and one of the pioneers of social psychology.
Lewin coined the notion of "genidentity", which has gained some importance in various theories of space-time and related fields.
Lewin was born to a Jewish family in Mogilno, Poland (then in County of Mogilno, province of Posen, Germany).
Force field analysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (365 words)
The principle, developed by Kurt Lewin, is a significant contribution to the fields of social science, psychology, social psychology, organizational development, process management, and change management.
Lewin, a social psychologist, believed the "field" to be a Gestalt psychological environment existing in an individual's (or in the collective group) mind at a certain point in time that can be mathematically described in a topological constellation of constructs.
Lewin took these same principles and applied them to the analysis of group conflict, learning, adolescence, hatred, morale, German society, etc. This approach allowed him to break down common misconceptions of these social phenomena, and to determine their basic elemental constructs.
  More results at FactBites »



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