Kurt Lewin bigraphy, stories - Psychologists

Kurt Lewin : biography

September 9, 1890 - February 12, 1947

Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890 – February 12, 1947) was a German-American psychologist, known as one of the modern pioneers of social, organizational, and applied psychology.In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al. using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Lewin was found to be the 18th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century. Haggbloom, S.J. et al. (2002). The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century. Review of General Psychology. Vol. 6, No. 2, 139–15. Haggbloom et al. combined 3 quantitative variables: citations in professional journals, citations in textbooks, and nominations in a survey given to members of the Association for Psychological Science, with 3 qualitative variables (converted to quantitative scores): National Academy of Science (NAS) membership, American Psychological Association (APA) President and/or recipient of the APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, and surname used as an eponym. Then the list was rank ordered.

Lewin ( ) is often recognized as the "founder of social psychology" and was one of the first to study group dynamics and organizational development.


Lewin coined the notion of genidentity,Lewin, K. (1922). Der Begriff der Genese in Physik, Biologie und Entwicklungsgeschichte. (Lewin's Habilitationsschrift) which has gained some importance in various theories of space-time and related fields. He also proposed Herbert Blumer's interactionist perspective of 1937 as an alternative to the nature versus nurture debate. Lewin suggested that neither nature (inborn tendencies) nor nurture (how experiences in life shape individuals) alone can account for individuals' behavior and personalities, but rather that both nature and nurture interact to shape each person. This idea was presented in the form of Lewin's equation for behavior B = ƒ(P, E).

Prominent psychologists mentored by Kurt Lewin included Leon Festinger (1919–1989), who became known for his cognitive dissonance theory (1956), environmental psychologist Roger Barker, Bluma Zeigarnik, and Morton Deutsch, the founder of modern conflict resolution theory and practice.

Force field analysis

Force field analysis provides a framework for looking at the factors (forces) that influence a situation, originally social situations. It looks at forces that are either driving movement toward a goal (helping forces) or blocking movement toward a goal (hindering forces). 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 K. (1943). Defining the "Field at a Given Time." Psychological Review. 50: 292-310. Republished in Resolving Social Conflicts & Field Theory in Social Science, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1997. His theory was expanded by John R. P. French who related it to organizational and industrial settings.

Action research

Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term “action research” in about 1944, and it appears in his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”.Lewin, K. (1946) Action research and minority problems. J Soc. Issues 2(4): 34-46 In that paper, he described action research as “a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action” that uses “a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action”.

Leadership climates

Lewin often characterized organizational management styles and cultures in terms of leadership climates defined by

(1) authoritarian, (2) democratic and (3) laissez-faire work environments. He is often mixed up with McGregor with his work environments, but McGregor adapted them directly to leadership-theory. Authoritarian environments are characterized where the leader determines policy with techniques and steps for work tasks dictated by the leader in the division of labor.  The leader is not necessarily hostile but is aloof from participation in work and commonly offers personal praise and criticism for the work done.   
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine