Kurt Lewin is remembered as a “practical theorist” and considered the intellectual father of the modern discipline of social psychology. Born in 1890 in a German village that is now part of Poland, Lewin was educated in Germany and served as an infantry soldier during World War I. His experience growing up as a Jew in an authoritarian society rampant with anti-Semitism shaped his view of human behavior and his focus on group processes. Trained in philosophy and experimental psychology, and influenced by the German Gestalt theorists, Lewin did his pioneering work in the development of field theory, a framework for understanding human behavior that focuses on how an individual conceptualizes and responds to physical and social environments. Field theory provides a paradigm for understanding ...

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