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Kurt Lewin

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S: Kurt Lewin By Caitlin B

BC: Kurt Lewin case study: Medea Medea, a woman who was betrayed by her husband Jason, with whom she was passionately in love with committed crimes that shocked many. She murdered her husbands new wife and father-in-law, as well as her own two children. Medea also murdered her brother and betrayed her father to help the man she loved escape, therefore feels as though Jason owes her everything. Medea is presenting with loss of control of emotion, homicidal urges and actions. Through directly observing behaviour it is clear Medea is a woman who has a pathological need to be known, respected and feared by those around her. Medea knows how to manipulate people through her actions and words to get what she wants. It is fascinating to witness in social situations where the group dynamics are controlled by Medea She shows no remorse or empathy after the murders have been committed and often lies to aid her manipulating. Medea presents the signs of a patient with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). This disorder is defined as "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others". This disorder would have come to the surface after Jason's betrayal which clearly was the catalyst for Medea's downward mental spiral. Medea needs to be placed into an environment where she will be able to undergo psychological counselling. It is recommended she is treated using the change process theory as she can then begin to change the way she responds to these situations of high emotions.

FC: Kurt Lewin | "If you want to truly understand something, try to change it" | The Father of Modern Social Psychology | Unfreeze Change Freeze

1: To my dearest father, you were always a hard worker and the way you nurtured me, and the nature with which I was surrounded whether it be the general store or farm in Mogilno, or the battle fields of WWI, I will always hold you and your words of encouragement and utmost support close to my heart. Kurt Lewin

2: Kurt Lewin who is known as 'the father of modern social psychology' produced work which is is still significant today. Kurt Lewin was one of the first psychologists to use experimentations to test his hypothesis and in doing so, he opened the worlds eyes to just how important group dynamics and action research is. He is most well known for his force field analysis work, which was essential in the development of social psychology. This involves the calculations of the driving forces and the restraining forces in situations involving individuals as well as groups. Driving forces being those that push a person or group in one direction (most of the time towards their goal) and some forces could be money, pressure from a superior, competition from others or need. Restraining forces are those that block the driving forces such as hostility, lack of knowledge, lack of pressure or apathy. These forces (or factors) are those of which have the power to influence or affect the given situation. This work allowed great insight into people and their behaviours in group dynamics and the field force analysis work is great to use when completing team building exercises especially in work enviroments. Caitlin Buchan Dr of Social Psychology

3: Contents | Biography..............................................................................................................................pg1 Life in Psychology...................................................................................................pg2 Epilogue...................................................................................................................................pg3 Bibliography....................................................................................................................pg5

4: Biography | Kurt Lewin was born the second of four children on September 9th, 1890 in Mogilno, Poland to the Jewish, Lewin Family. The Lewin's were middle class with the father being the owner of the local general store as well as a farm. In 1905 when Kurt was 15 years old, the whole family packed up and moved to Berlin, Germany so that Kurt would be able to attend the gymnasium there. A gymnasium is a school that contains the brightest students and those wishing to enter into the gymnasium can only do so by passing a set examination. He applied and was accepted into the University of Frieberg to study medicine before he transferred to study biology the University of Berlin where he eventually completed his doctoral degree. During the course of his studies he became extremely interested in Gestalt psychology which is known today as structuralism and founded by Wilhelm Wundt someone who Kurt revered. Kurt volunteered for the German army in 1914 when he was 24 years of age before being injured therefore returning back to the University of Berlin to complete his Ph.D. This injury that forced him out of the army would later become the beginning of his field theories and interests in studying group dynamics. In 1929 he published his first book titled 'The Methods of Kurt Lewin, A Study of Cause and Effect'. In 1933 however he had to flee Germany along with the rest of the Jewish intellectuals as Hitler was now beginning to rise to power. He immigrated to the United States of America where in 1935 he become the professor at the University of Iowa. In 1940 Kurt and his family (wife Gertrude Weiss and their children) became American citizens and in 1942 he became the president for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. In 1942 he also organized the research centre in Massachusetts at the Institute of Technology for the Study of Group-dynamics. In 1944 his mother was killed in a nazi extermination camp which highlighted how lucky those who fled Germany were to have been able to escape. Following WWII, Kurt become involved in the psychological rehabilitation of people living in displaced person camps. | 1940

5: Life in Psychology | Kurt Lewin was a social psychologist who studied how peoples thoughts, feelings and behaviour can change in different social situations and from the influence of others. Kurt worked on many psychological theories during his career, many of them are well known as still used today. Kurt believed in testing out theories with experiments and he is thought to have pioneered this movement. Some of his most well known theories include: | Force Field Analysis: This involves the calculations of the driving forces and the restraining forces in situations involving individuals as well as groups. Driving forces being those that push a person or group in one direction (most of the time towards their goal) and some forces could be money, pressure from a superior, competition from others or need. Restraining forces are those that block the driving forces such as hostility, lack of knowledge, lack of pressure or apathy. These forces (or factors) are those of which have the power to influence or affect the given situation. | Change Process: Kurt developed a model which involves a three step process needed to be completed for change within the mind to be made which can then flow over into behavioural change. The first step is unfreezing, which involves preparing yourself for change by weighing out the pro's and con's and getting yourself motivated. For change to occur in a person they need to not fight against it and learn to step outside of their comfort zone. The second step change refers to the inner journey towards change which Kurt chose to recognise as a process not a behaviour as it is in this case, internal. The third and final step freezing (not to be called refreezing) refers to the new changes being accepted by the individual and becoming the norm.

6: Epilogue | In 1947 Kurt Lewin passed away after suffering a heart attack in Newtonville, Massachusetts. His body was taken and buried in his home town. Lewin is still known today as 'the father of modern social psychology' for his pioneering work with experimentation and scientific methods as a way of looking at social psychology. Through his experiments Kurt proved to many around the world that social and group dynamics can be empirically measured and studied. Today social psychologists work using observation as a powerful tool in furthering the studies of social and group dynamics none of which would have occurred without Kurt Lewin deciding to step out of the box and try something new. Kurt published three books over his life which were: A dynamic theory of personality published by New York: McGraw-Hill (1935) Principles of topological psychology, published by New York: McGraw-Hill (1936( Field theory in social science; selected theoretical papers, published by New York: McGraw Hill (1951)

7: "Our behavior is purposeful; we live in a psychological reality or life space that includes not only those parts of our physical and social environment to us but also imagined states that do not currently exist." - Kurt Lewin (1840 - 1947)

8: Bibliography | Books Readings in Social Psychology: Group Decision and Social Change Authors: Theodore M. Neweomb, Eugene L. Hartley and Henry Holt Published: 1947 Chapter 6, pages 39-44 http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/brainwashing/kurt-lewin-change.htm Accessed: 5/3/11 Websites Kurt Lewin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Lewin Updated: 27/1/11 Accessed: 4/3/11 5/3/11 Force Field Analysis http://www.accel-team.com/techniques/force_field_analysis.html Published: 2010 Accessed: 5/3/11 Force Field Analysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_field_analysis Updated: 10/12/10 Accessed: 5/3/11

9: Gymnasium (Germany) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnasium_%28Germany%29 Updated: 4/3/11 Accessed: 5/3/11 Kurt Lewin Biography Author: Kendra Cherry http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_lewin.htm Accessed: 5/3/11 Kurt Lewin Biography http://social.jrank.org/pages/2332/Kurt-Lewin.html Accessed: 5/3/11 Kurt Lewin, Change Management Model http://www.change-management-coach.com/kurt_lewin.html Accessed: 7/3/11 Lewin Timeline http://www.psicopolis.com/Kurt/cronologia.htm Accessed: 7/3/11 | Bibliography

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  • Title: Kurt Lewin
  • Kurt Lewin - Father of Social Psychology Caitlin.B
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