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- We have come to see that in investigations of this kind [of unified psychology] we must deal with persons as wholes to a much greater extent than in the psychology of sensation. In the psychology of sensation the individual's ideals, ambitions, and his social relationships play no role at all or only a subordinate one. But an experimental investigation of needs, of action, or of emotions cannot be carried out without taking into account the characteristics of the person, his momentary state, and his psychological environment.
This shows again that the concepts of which psychology is now in need have to meet the requirements which we suggested above: the system of concepts must be broad enough to be applicable to the most primitive bodily behavior as well as to the emotions, thought processes, values, and social relationships. It must be capable of representing these processes not as single isolated facts but in their mutual dependence as expressions of a concrete situation involving a definite person in a definite condition. These concepts must unify without undue simplification; they must include both person and environment, both law and individual case.
These requirements can be fulfilled only if one turns from the prevailing methods of "abstractive classification" and tries to build constructive concepts. (pp. 5-6)
- Lewin's Equation, B=ƒ(P,E), is not actually a mathematical equation representing quantifiable relationships but rather a heuristic designed by psychologist Kurt Lewin. It states that Behavior is a function of the Person and his or her Environment. The equation is the psychologist's most well known formula in social psychology, of which Lewin was a modern pioneer. When first presented in Lewin's book Principles of Topological Psychology, published in 1936, it contradicted most popular theories in that it gave importance to a person's momentary situation in understanding his or her behavior, rather than relying entirely on the past.
- Lewin, Kurt (1936). Principles Of Topological Psychology. Munshi Press, 2007. [+]
- Korzybski, Alfred (1933). Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. 5th ed., Institute of General Semantics, 1994. [+]
- 1929/Sapir [+]
- Malinowski, Bronislaw (1923). "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages." Supplement to: Ogden & Richards (1923), pp. 296-336. [+]