GROWING RENOWN CHAPTER

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1 CHAPTER GROWING RENOWN Lewin's study of hunran behavior was never separated frorn his philosophical consideration of mcthod, especially the role of experience in method. \\'Ihat shoulcl authentic science do? he asked' Which r.vav shoulcl it facc, in the light of the past and the Present? Dorwin Cartri'right, in rer.ieu'ing Lclvin's thought, recently pointed out that, from thc r-erv beginning, Lewin sought to discern clearly what the fornral properties of a devcloped human science must be. Lervin, cartrvright says, hcld to this aim all his life and thereby infused his r,vorh with a developnrental continuity that, manifold ancl diverse as is its content, nonctheless achieves unity. Lewin's ideas and performance became befter knorvn to psychologists in the English-speaking rvorld through articles by J' F' Biown, one of the first Anrericans ro study u'ith hirn in Berlin. Broll,n's paper, "The,\lcthods of Kurt Lervin-A StudY of Action ancl Affect," was published in The I'sycl:ological Rewig*^ in t929, shortly before the nreeting of the Inrcrnational congress of Psychologists at Yale. It proviclecl the first evaluarion in English of Lewin's general contribution to psycholog\. and brought him a nunrber of new American students. Brov'n set thc u'orl< of Leu'in ancl his group in a PersPecti\re that could not be gained alone from Leu'in's o$'n writings and the scattered reports of his group's experiutcnral invcstigation then appear- 48

2 Growing Renown ing in the Psycbologische Forsclrung. "Lewin has done something that will tend to clarify our heterogeneouscience," Brown wrote. "Like all pioneers, his worl<, rather than to dictate finished laws, has been to indicate directions and open up new paths of experimentation from which the laws musr evenrually come. The experimental situations chosen make use of total acts. Rather than validity through repetition, Lewin stresses i'alidiry through careful conrrol and variations." ' Brown obsen ed that American psychologists might at first be dubious. They might ask, "\\,'here are the absolute psychological laws of which Lewin has nrade so much? " "Such a criticism would mean a complete misunderstanding of Lewin's attitude," Brown wrote. "He was nor yet able to set up his laws, but was simply in a position to show the nrarerial from which they must evenrually come. That is, he had shown that any law musr be a genotypic description of behavior, thar the associationisrs and the behaviorists had confused the genotypic and the phenotypic. He was able logically to prove the existence of tensions, to rreasure them roughly and to indicate that dyn:n"ric larvs must be in terms of energy ex-.changes and field eguarions. His most importanr contribution was methodological rather rhan facrual." Brown's article served as a helpful background for Lewin's appearance at the Yale meeting of the International Congress of Psychology. Lewin had accepted the invitation to read a paper and had also brought along a short motion picture he had made of an eighteen-month-old child-his wife's niece Hannah-trying to sit on a stone. It was something she had never done before, and her attempts ably illustrated some of Lewin's novel concepts. Hannah was not sure that if she took her eyes off the stone she would be able to hit the right spot when she sat down. In order to sit she u'as going to have ro turn her back on rhe stone; but in trying to do this without taking her eyes off it, she circled it many times. Sometimes a distraction would occur, and she would deviate from her little orbit. Her diffrculties on her way ro her goal were many and varied, but finally, rvith obvious sarisfacrion, she reached it by putting her head between her legs and backing over ro the stone. +9

3 THE GERIyIAN YEARS Lewin pointed our rhar, in order to achieve her goal, the child young had ro rurn around; bur if she did, her movemenr had to direction take a opposite to the field force. 1'he positive valence the toward stone was so strong that ir was difficulr for the child to move direction in a conrrary to trre field force. So she n,"d".n.rg..tic unsuccessful but movements toward the varence ij; "rriii.r eighteen..ry nlonths' she could nor yer rest.rcture the field so that could she perceive a seneral m,,r-e,rrc,t au)dy f-; ;.;;;l f,.n:,11, n,"..ry pl'rase of a g.rr"."l movemenr "The tuu)ardthe goal. direction of the field forccs,,, Lcwin said,,,plays an impor_ tant paft in intelligenr behavior thar has to do with d.to.,, lems." p.ob- Little Flanriarr's difficulties resulted not from the length the detour of but fronr confusion caused by the circumstance that initial the direction of the appropriate route did nor agree rvith that the vector of of the ""1.n".. Ti" -or" the barrier made it necessary for Hannah ro detour by stardng off in a direction opposite direcdon to the of the valence, rhe more-difficult rhe detour wourd be. By means of the filnr, Lewin arso made crear whar h. meanr forces by in a field. Lirtle Hannah hacl passed the sr'ne _"rrf,i_., before rvirhout wanting to sir on it. tv'h.n she finatv did want ro, wasn't it because of the stone but because she was tired. The audience was greatly impressed' "This "was ingenious firm," said Gordon iitpo.r, decisive in forcing ronl" Air"rican psychologists to revise own their theories of rhe nature of intelrigent behauio*na or learning.,, Wirh his appearance at the yale meeting, the impact of Brown,s articles, and the early Forscbrng seriesof -r"po.tr, i.*i,, t.."_" world, figure in psychologv. An-rrg those who read one of Brown,s papers in rgzg was Donard A{acKirinon, trren ar Ir".r."ra."irrtrigued, he went ro hear Lewin talk at yale. They dicl not nreer ar that time, 5o

4 GrouingRenown but, having heard Lcrvin speak and having seen his film' A{acKinnon said later, "He was, g"nio' at being able to follow children around with his camera "rrd!"t bits of beia"ior to illustrate the principles h. -", already derreljping' And he came across as a terribly-exciting man-excited about what he was cloing and about the presentallion'" Maria Ovsiankina could have "tt"it"d to this' too' She had been responsible in Berlin for the processing of the film clips that Lewin *"'..onrrrntly making' On one occaslon' at the end of a busy day' she finally cornerecl th"c tirelcss professorto shor,v him the latest batch' "There's nothing much here," she told hiln' but Lewin's contments on the films brought forth a rvealthof new material' N{aria Ovsiankina and her fellow students in the prolection room were astonished at how much he had perceived that was new' To many othe, An'terican workers in the field whom he met at Yale in r929, Lewin was also impressive because he was propoundinf,,,"* psvchology' A4ost psychologists had accepted the traditij,t"l notion nf thj'hi"'a"l''y of the sciences-the idea that you corid descrl&e psychological phenomena with psychological con-..pt, brrt that, i? yoo *"'tt"d io explain them' you had to go down thi hi"rarchy of th. sciences to something mole-bas]c' Thus' psychological phenomena such as perception and behavior were to be explailned in,"r., of physioiogical and neurological concepts' although this seemed,o ii*i"i'h,lf '-tot nullify' ps1'chology. itself as a science. \Vhat Lewin propose<l to do-and indeed was doing-was to assert that psychotogic't concepts could be scientifically accounted for, as well as djscribed' in purely psychological terms' He was extraordinarily ex;rressive: this was Part of.his charm' the reason he stirred people so much' N'{acl(innon was "not sure now much of his talh the Yale audience understood' for Lewin spoke in Gennan and few of his hearers had much fluency in that language; but if you iust tooh the man and his behavior-the way in which he was acting-it was quite clear that he was an original-an exciting psycholoiist and a dynamic Person to work with'" N{acKinnon..",i1' that "as an undergraduate at Bowdoin I thought I rvanted to be a psycl-rologist and took first-year psycholor, was so disgusted *itt' it thai I said' 'If this is psychology' ", I (I

5 THE GERNIAN YEARS want nothing to do u'irh it.' It didn't tell me anything about human nature, motivation, character, or personalitv. I majored in history; it turned out later thar Harry A'Iurray had done so roo. He also had wanted to be a psvchologist but majored in history. We both finally ended up in psychology. When I was approaching graduation, I found that if I went to rhe library I could 6nd some very exciting things in psychology which I hadn'r gorten in rhe course at all -A4acDougall, Freud, Jung, and others-and at the last minute decided to be a psychologist. At Hirrvard, where I began my graduate work, the really acceptable psychology was still largely introspective, using psychophysical methods and again having very little to do with human nature or problems of personality and motivation. Then Harry i\{urray arrive d on the scene and he rvas someone that I could talk to about the problerns and who in turn would stimulate me. "My feeling at the time rvas exactly the same as that of J. F. Brown, namely, that in the late rgzo's psychology seemed to have experimental methods but they used tl'rese methods on absolutely unimportant, insignificant problerns. Psychoanalysts were dealing with real problems-a very large nunber of them the most important psychological problems-but their methods u'ere highly defective or not adequate. And so very early I got the idea that what I would like to do would be to bring these two together and try to develop some bridge between experimental psychology as the thing existed ancl psychoanalysis-the different schools of psychoanalysis. And when I first heard about Lewin I was very excited because it seemed to me that he was already doing it, although he was not at this time concerned with psychoanalysis but he rl'd.t concernecl with dynamic problems of human motivation." In r93o, N{acKinnon rvas offered a trar.eling fellowship by Harvard. "I had no question as to rvhere I would gcl," he says. \\rhen he arrived in Berlin, he discovered that Lewin had not learned any more English than had been at his conrmand in New Haven. Because A{acKinnon's German r.vas linrited, he arranged for N,{aria Ovsiankina to scrve as interprctcr and internediary. But the language barrier rvas only one stumbling block. Lewin's idiosyncratic way of working was another. I{acKinnon remembers

6 Growing Renozun having arranged to meet him at a Konditorei near the Institute at five o'clock one autuntn afternoon: "Finally, Leu'in showed up three hours late, breathless and full of apologies. He had iust come from working up a new experiment in a local prison' where he had gotten so absorbed that he simply forgot about the appointment' wh.r, he did finally remember our date he couldn't leave his experiment, until he had worked it out.i learned during the year I worked with him that this was nothing unusual; he would sometimes never show up at all for appointmenrs he had made with some of his students. At all events, u'hen he and I finally settled down at our table in the Konditorei and I told him what I wanted to do, everything was fine. "What I hoped to demonstrate in the laboratory with some kind of quantification was thar erperiences which stir guilt presumably activate early associations and impulses that had been associated with the guilt and had undergone repression. when I got to Berlin this was what I proposed to work on with Kurt. I found at once an openmindedness and a reaction of great excitement that his methods could be used to effect some kind of a bridge between experimental psychology and psychoanalysis. A'loreover, he was tremendously generous of his tinte, busy as he always was." MacKinnon was the first American who had come to Berlin saying, "I want to work with you,kurt Lewin," but of course several other Americans had preceded him. Besides J. F.Brown, who had been ar Berlin two years when he wrote his article, both 53Il?e-ner and Donald Adams had come earlier, originally to study with others. Like iiiown, they had stayed on and grown deeply interested in Lewin's work. The appearance of Brown's articles also stimulated Jerome Frank to come from Harvard, where he had iust finished his undergraduate work in psychology. Frank was particularly attracted by Lewin,s ability to pinpoint important problems of human functioning and reduce them to an experimentalevel. "I was rapidly welcomed into Lewin's inner circle," he relates, "even though I was only a graduate student." He was especially grateful for Lewin's democratic informalitv. which was unlike that of most other Ger- 53

7 THE GERN{AN YEARS man teachers: "Lach nerv idca or problenr scenred to arouse hirn, and he was able to share his feeling with colleagues and juniors. He had the energy to think at a high ler.el continuously for many hours, or struggle with a diflicult problem er,en while he had a bad headache. Seminars were held in his home, and it was hard to distinguish the influence of his ideas from the influencc of his personality. "Because Levyin could be critical rvithouc hurting, he stimulated creativity in all those abour him. You coulcl get into rremendous battles with him over icleas, and he would never hesitate to show you where he belier.'ed yoll were wrong. But neither was there ever the slightcst hint of any personal feeling about ir, and if you came up with a good idea a minute later, hc'cl be as pleased over ir as you were. He secmed to enjoy all liincls of human beings ancl, open and free as he was, shared his ideas immediately-even if they were half formed-eager for colnmenrs and reacrions while the original idea was still being developed." During his years at the Ps1'chological Institute in Berlin, Lewin had founded a rvhole new way of studying human beings-in his demonstration of the extcnr to rvhich perception and nrernory depended on motivation, bv his srress on seeliing the causes for behavior, by using the past as a \\ray of unclerstrrncling some of the factors present in current interactions rather than as the prirnary causes of behavior, and by his insistence rhat courplcx problems of human interactions could be put in sonre liind of expcrimental framework. In tgz7, he was appointcd Ausserordentlicber nicht beanteter Professor (associate professor rvithout civil service ranli), essentially an honorary promorion. This rank, which did nor carry tenure, was as high as nrosr Jews could go in thc Prussian acaclemic hierarchy, though it is possible that, hacl the Nazis nor risen ro power, Lewin might have bcen offerecl a "chair" of ps1'chologv ar a university in one of the other rrrore liberal Gernran srares. The promotion to Ausserordentlicher Prof essor u'as, holever, a meaningful acknowledgement to Lewin of thc r.alue of his rvork. Though he rvas not one to dwcll on the lrarricrs ro atraining a higher rank, it did bother him, nevcnheless. Doris Trvitchell Allen, who was living at the Lewin home at the time, remembers that he 5+

8 Gro,tuing Renown occasionally expressed unhappiness at his lack of a Permanent appointment, and she feels that he enjoyed a sort of wry satisfaction when, on being invited to teach for a sentester at Stanford University, he was designated as "\risiting Professor." That at least coincided with the estin-rate of many of his prontinent colleagues who hailed hinr as a "rare intellectualeader." N4eanwhile there rvere problerns in Leu'in's home life that were becoming increasinglv diffrcult to resolve. His son, Fritz' had developed very slo',vly during his first year. \\rhen he seemed unable to walk at the expected time, the physician discovered that both hipbones rvere dislocated. He hacl evidently been born u'ith this handicap. \\tall<ing would therefore bc inrpossible until the disability was remedied. \\'hen the child \vas strong enough, maior surgery was performed on the h\rbone on one sicle, and after a long convalescence a similar surgical proccdure was done on thc other hipbone. The bones mended very slov'lv and the sick child required constant care. To help the 1'oungster nlo\re around, Lewin designed and built a spccial \\'agon in rvhich the child could push hirnself in the house and garden. But raising an ailing )'oungster created stresses in the little daughter as u'ell as the parents. TI're atmosphere in the home was tense and troubled. \\rliile both Kurt and NIaria were deeply der.oted to the children, thcy could not agree on the best ways to cope with the special dilficulties tliat haci developecl. \'{aria rvas especially upset bt'iiurt's frequent absences frorn home and his erratic schcdulcs. This made the situation \\'orse even though he apparently spcnt considerable tinrc u'ith thc chilclren. As domestic strains becarne morc pressing, Lcwin felt that divorce was the only solution. IJe mor-ed out of the home and NIaria and the chilclren continued to lir.e there. He r.isitccl thenr frcqnently until the family morred to Palcstinc l'hen Nazism tooli over Germany. In r 9z9 Kurt remarried. His nerv wife rvas the former Gertrud Weiss, a friend whour he ancl N'laria had linou'n since rgzr. He later arranged to build a neu'home in Schlachtensee. a Bcrlin suburb. I Not long aftcr he returnecl front the International Congress at Yale, Leu'in read a paper bcforc thc Kant Gesellschaft in Berhn on the transition fror-r.t an Aristotclian to a Galileian concept fonnarion 55

9 THE GERA{AN YEARS in psychology. He was anxious to have it translated into Enslish for publication in A{urchison'spsychorogies of r930r and askeik<;hler to speak to Donald Adams, who rvas fairly familiar with German, about translating ir into English. Adams had first heard of Lervin from Karl zener and Junius Brown when they had dined at Adams' home in New Haven in rgz7. They were both excited about him and his work. Adams was able to see and hear Lewin for rrre first time at the Ninrh International Congress at New Haven in September rg2g. A few weeks later, Adams met Lervin in Berlin, whe.e he had qone on a National Research Council fellou,sh\r ro work wirh Krjhlei. "Lewin would like to ask a favor of you, but is too shy,,' Kcihler told Adams. "I had heard the paper and had been inreresred "After in it," says Adams. expressing misgivings appropriate to rhe primirive srate of my masrery of German, I underrook the iob with the understanding that Kurt Kofll<a, then rr Snrith, would reviewmy translation before it was sent to A,lurchison." It was already r93o, late for A,{urchison's deadline, and the trans_ lation went slou4y. "Anyone who has read mucrr of Lewin,s earrier writings in German rvill be aware of his tendency to coin neologisms, much as Edward Tolman did in English, "r,d,o-" of these gave nre great difliculty. Ansprttclssniaeau was not one; it translated simply and litcrately as 'lever of aspiration,' but others were not so simple. Of the tough ones, I remernbcr particularly Aufforderungs_ charakter. This had bcen translared by J. F. Brown.-in his r9z9 ardcle as 'invitational characrer.' Thar ls lircral enough but hardlv seemed appropriate r' a featnre of the psychologic"i.rrrri.orr,r"rit that could be either positi'e o,,regatiue ancr that varied with the tension in tl-re 'psychical system'relatecl to the "I'd object concernedbeen struggling witrr rhis probreni for a month or so withour perceprible progress u'hen worfga'g Airetzger and his wife gave a party for the Institute one sund"y "u.ning at their home Jn the r rhe article, entitled "Trrc Transition of the Aristotelian A{ode of rhought to the Galileian Alodc of Thought.in psych.,l.,g', a,j flof,4.y;;.f ijlr., A{urchison "## volume; it rvas. piblish"a ln*""a] u.rj"..,risii,iy Jin"**','i,r", lcttrrnal of Genetic psychology in r93r. r6 ;",fr" i^,r,"

10 Grotuing Renown A4uggelsee, one of the Havel lalics southeast of Berlin. On the way back that night, while strap-hanging on the crowded Stadtbahn, it suddenly occurrcd to me, as in what Lewin called an'a-hal experience,' that there was oncc a rncaning of the English word 'valence,' long before its appropriation by chemistry, that might do the job. So the first thing next nrorning I went to the Prussian State Library on the ljnter den Linden Strasse, not far from the Institute, and looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary. I was wrong about 'valence,'but'valent' (t16s) as a substantive was defined as'value or worth.' And the first meaning of 'r.alency,' dating from t623, rvas given as 'might, po\ver, strength'; the fourth meaning (t8qz) was given as 'importance, significance.' Out of an old aversion to excess syllables, I dropped the 'y' and translated Aufforderungsc l:t ar akt er as'valence.' "Unfortunately, between my tardiness in completing the job and my correspondence with Koffka, rve missed the deadline for Psychologies of t 93o. It rnay have bcen Koffka who noted the near identity of 'valence' with Tolman's concept of 'demand value' and arranged with him to join in trsing 'valence.' At all events, it has been generally adopted and nou'appears in \\rebster III, where it is defined (zb)-although 'the only in the positive sense-as degree of attractiveness an individual, activity, or object possesses as a behavioral goal.' It has also displacccl Artfforderttngscharakter in German, which now uses the word Va\enz." In his article on the transition frorn the Aristotelian mode of thought to the Galileian, Lewin proposed answers to such questions as: Is it possible to determine gcncral larvs in psychologv and undertahe precise experiments to reveal emotional life? Doesn't psychology deal with individuals who cliffer so much from one another that it is impossible to find laws of general validity applicable to each individual? Is it possible to study and explain inner emotional processes in the same kind of quantitative and ob]ective wry that physics has done? Lewin answered again that, for one thing, a great many similar cases were not :neetled in orcler to finci general laws. On the contrary, a psvchologist should insteac study the single concrete case and 57

11 THE GERMAN YEARS deterrnine irs nature accorcling to borrr its externar appearance (phenorype) and its genetic-cuiditionar narure 1g"no,yfii. Lewin based this concrusion on rvhar he considered to be the fundamental change that had taken prace in scientific thinking and concepmarizing ever since Garileo iad made his cruciar break from Aristotle. Insread of Aristotle's sraric. conccpr of conrrasring p"i.;;t ph"_ nonrena-go'd-bad, blacr<-*'hite-in which.r"h *e.,ibir of the^pair is in an area of 'alue alien to that of the other menrber, Galileo had introduced rhe dynanric conce'r of sequence, in which thc two co-ntrasting parts of a pair belong to a uni'ecl area or continuum within u'hich they fo'-.,ru,, "rrl.,rr..rrdr., L, f.ir,or.fir., rerms, blac* and white berong to one pair of.on..pii, uo, "".n "rror exists in its orvn area only,,.pr.rr" fronr ancl alien tci the area of the opposite color. In Galilelan rerms, brack a'd rvhite berons to the same sequence as parts of the sane continuum_extrem" "rri, of ", ulinterrupted sequence in a continuous rransition without boundaries between its vari, psychorogy,,oo,?]j,l,ll]t[::h:liljln. dynamic concept or seqrence instead of the sratic concept of pairs. The transirion from the Arisrotelian r'ode of rhought to th. tlalileian "tro "hrrrg"d th. criteria rvhicl'r dete'-.inecl rifiethe. a gi'en phenomenon-..pr"- sented a scientific lall'or rvas,nry accicrentar. Aristotle,s criterion of scientific law was the preclictable and orderry reperition of the same phenomenon: only a grear nunrber of cases established laws. It was necessary' then' for a scientific investigation ro study as many similar cases as possible in 'rder to establisrriarvs of g.n.rrr variditi. But Galileo's criteria for validity -er",lrolether differenr. Fo, him, rhe single case was just as varld as the raw of rhe free falr in a vacuum' a scientificaily acceptable phenor'enon which does nor exist at all in real life. It *r,.ro, inrlrorrrr* in modern physics whether a given process occurred on." o, twice, frequently o, p.r_ manently: historic frequency was nor ar all decisive in determining the "lawfulness" of a phenomenon. Psychology could ancl must adopt the Galileian nrode, Lcwin wrote. It must move from the average of many cases to the single case' B.r, he pointed o,r, rhe singre case was valid onry if ir were 58

12 Grozuing Renovsn grasped in its totalitf ; that is, only if both the total concrete situation and its specific properties rvere understood. The concrete single case had to be described, then, in its phenotypical and its genorypical aspects. It was not the frequency of a case's occurrence that was decisive, but the exact description of all the forces operating in and upon it at a given moment, including the inner forces (needs) as well as the external ones (environment). This assumption led Lewin to another: That the behavior of a person can be predicted-but only tf his total psychological field or life space at a given moment is known. And it is more useful to know a single concrete case in its totality than to know many cases in only one or a few of their aspects. For, in the latter instance, both the wholeness of the person and the Potential wholeness of the psychological field are overlooked. This original article on Aristotelian versus Galileian mode of thought captured the imagination of psychologists in all parts of the world and contributed greatly to Lewin's growing reputation' Many of his innumerable friends of later years first became aware of his work through this essay. Claude Faucheux, an eminent psychologist at the Sorbonne in Paris, recently commented that this article continues to this day to be a maior influence in French psychology. Environmental Forces in Child Behavior and Development In addition to the Galileo article, Lewin had requested Donald Adams to translate another paper he had written, "Envitonmental Forces in Child Behavior and Development." It was published in r 93 r in the Handbook of Cbild Psy chology, edited by Carl [{urchison. In this thcoretical paper Lewin analyzed the shortcomings of the conventional method of measuring child behavior and suggested a dramatically new approach, based on the findings of his students' exoerimental work, 59

13 THE GERMAN YEARS.He began by challenging some of the statisrical approaches then widely used to de6ne the psycrrorogical ",ruiro.r-erri of the child. He questioned the value of s,rch approaches as, for example, that in which the school records of the oli.rr, middre, "nd yoong"sr child in a family of three children are compared and conclusions crrawn abour.the "average oldesr" and rhe tike. He argued that defining behavior on the basis of such extrinsic characterirtics as the number of siblings' their posirion in the family, or the age of the parentsrather than the acftial situation in which the chiljfinds himself-was an- error' since specific individuars ha'e quite clifferenr psychorogical characteristics. Thus the calcuration 'f an "aver"g.;' nrr.-y."rold child rvas designed to eliminate such accidents oi the environmenr as being an only child. Such "facts," Lewin said, rarel' offer more than hints about the f orces of the environment. Not io "o.rsider the really significant facrors in a siruarion '-Fo1 was, he felt, wrong. the very rclarion that is most clecisi'e for rhe investigation of the individual child in the indiviclual situation is thereby absiracted.,, The "average" child and the,,a\.erag.e,, situation *"ra,,o Lewin, mere formulations, of no use in the investigation of social clynamics. In Lewin's view, the study of environmental facrors l-,ad to srart from a consideration of what he cailed "the toral situation.,, He denied thc possibility of an "average" environmenr, for the same environment may assume a different quarity depending on a number of characteristics, all of rvhich "ffeci the in'reclirt. "i."u.,.,rrances surrounding the child. Lewin then stated his own trreoretical position. The rife space of an infant, for exanrple, is errrenrely snrail arcl undifferentiated, in both the perceptual and the effecti'e sense. As the chilcl gro\vs orcler, however, his life space is gra:juall1, extended. The Jnvironnrenr becomes differe'tiated, and facts that formerly were unnoted acquire psychological existence.,\iore ancl nrore, as the child becumes a.ware of things around hir-', he sceris to control them; at the same time, he learns rhar he. is bccorning increasingly depenclent upon a growing circle of environmenrar er.ents. If a ioil is brolren " r"r feet away from a six-monrh-old baby, Leu,in pointccl out by way of illusuarion, there is nor likelv to bc any reaction. Doing,r-r","-" 6o

14 Grovsing Reno,un thing in front of a three-year-old, however, will usually evoke a violent response. "Such social facts as friendship r,vith anorher child, dependence upon an adult, and so on, must also be regarded fi.oni the dynamic point of view as no less real than this or that physical facr," Lewin continued. He called amention to the frequency with which identical physical objects assume very clifferent meanings for children of the same age-or evcn for the same child in different situations. Thus a rvooden cube might at onc tirne be a missilc and at another a building block or a locomotive. The significance of any physical object at any time would depend both upon the total situation and upon the momenrary condition of the child involved; and this would be equally true for the social facrors. Lewin drew a distinction betryeen "quasi-physical" objects (a table, a bed, a knife or fork) and objecrs of a "quasi-social" naruredogs, friends, "grownups," neighbors. "All of rhese are defined for the child partly bv their appearance, but above all by their functional possibilitics. A flight of steps, for example, is something that one could (or could not yer) go up and clown, or sonrerhing rhat one climbed yesterday for the firsr time. Thus history, as the child erperiences it, is also a psychologicallr. essential constiruent of the things of the environment." Despite this, he adclcd, cerrain critical properties of the psychical environnrent remain undescribcd. "To the child, objects and eyents are not neutral; rather, they have an immediate psychological effect on behavior. Some might arrracr thc child to eating; others to climbing, to grasping, to manipularion, ro sucking, to raging ar rhem, and so on." This "imperative environmental fact" which, Lewin helci, determined the "clirection" of bchavior, he called the Aufordertntgscharakter-the term r.vhich Adams translatcd "valence." as "In the context of dynamics," Ler,vin wrote, "these valences, their l<ind, strength, and distribution, musr bc regarded as anlong thc most important properties of the cnvironment." Furtherrnore, he noted, these r.alences change-not only u'ith the varied necds of incrersing age but also with thc urourenrar)' srirre of the child. \\rhen a chilcl's need for nourishment, for plal.ing with a doll, or for reading a srory 6t

15 the GERMAN YEARS is in a "hungry" or unsatisficcl condition, a cookie, a doll, or a pic_ ture book will attract him-trrat is, rhe object wilr have a positive valence. on the other hand, when this need has been satisfi'ed, the child will be indifferent ro the obiects. Indeed, they could acquire a negative valence and be regarded as disagreeable ii the child is in a state of "oversatiation." Lewin suggested that dista'ce or direcrion is not the same in rhe psychological field as in the physical. This is more apparent in older than in youngcr chilclre^. Thus, when a child fetches a toor or appeals to the experimenrer for help, it does not mean-even whe'it involves physical nlovement in a directio' opposite to the goal-a turning a*'ay from it, but is, rather,,r, "p1rrnr.h to it. Such iidir""t approaches, parricularly of nrovenrcnt in a di.."tion opposite to the goal, are, h'rl'ever, exceeclingly rare anong very ),oung children. As the child grows older, temporally clistant..,.nr,,[o b..o_e more significant. To the psychological siruarion now belong not only those facts tha.t are "objccti'ely" presenr but also nlany pasr and fumre events. This explai.s *,hy "a."nrur. or a conmendation mightremain a presenr ph'sical facrfor the child over a long period, and an expected er-ent could acquire pst,chologicrl,."tiry torrg before it happens." Lewin then discussed rhe beha'ior of a crrilcr in three basic.,conflict" situations. He.definecl-conflict psychologically as the opposi_!3n of approximarely equally,,rung deld foices. i' rh" firri "orr_ flict siruati'n, rhe child sta'ds benu'een trvo positive valences-for example, staying holne ro plal, *,ith a friend or going to the zoo to see the aninrals. The decision is a relarir.ely easy one to make. In the second conflict situation, the decision becomes more dificult becalrse tl're cor-rflict is bet*'een a positi'e and a negati'e 'alence o_f equal strength. I{e nral- \\'anr ro go i.to the ocean b*ut is afraid of the wa'es. In this siruati'r the crecision depends on the i'creasing strength of the ncgarive \.ecrors. The chiid nray rurn alray and withdraw or choose ll'har seems rike the less unpreasrnt "lt.rnatiu.. In the third co'flicr sir.atio., the chircl,,rn,r, berween r\\.o negative valences, as when he nrust perfornr a task-for erample, practice the piano (which he rvanrs ro ar.oicl)-or face punish*ent fo, f.rhrre 6z

16 Growing Renou:n to do it (which he doesn't want). In this type of situation an "escape" from the conflicting valences is sometimes possible by going out of the field. The child will always try this maneuver if he is not prevented from doing so. Thus, the behavior can be limited only if escape is not possible and the choice is restricted to performing the unattractive task or accepting the punishment. It is therefore necessary, says Lewin, to limit the child's freedom of movement, thus creating (by physical or social means) a nlore or less constrained situation. Lewin next put forrvard his view that a change of environment may have great significance for a child's development. He pointed out that the operation of the environment always produces a change in the individual hirnself and thus changes his basis of reaction to all later situations. Finally, Lewin discussed what he terms the circular causal relation between self and environment. A feebleminded child, for exampel, is at a disadr.antage among other children in two ways. In the first place he finds it cliliicult to perform the tasks that they are capable of-for example, adding numbers, keeping score, etc. There is a second difliculty that creates even more problems. When the intelligent child is given a task, he is likely to look for the least difficult solution. The child of belorv normal intelligence is less likely to discover the easiest solution. Thus, not only is the intellectually subnornral child less able, but the actual demands made upon him by problens are frcquently greater than those rnade upon the intelligent child faced with the same problems. The publication of Lewin's paper on environmental forces in child behavior brought him increased attention among psychologists. It dranratized the fact that his influence was no longer limited to those students r.vho canre to Berlin to study at the Institute, and pointed up his growing reputation as a brillianr thinker and original experimenter. 63

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