Sunday, February 15, 2009



· Born on September 9, 1890
· 1914 - Joined the German army.
· 1916 - Earned a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin.
· 1921 - Became a lecturer at the Psychological Institute of the University of Berlin.
· 1932 - Emigrated to the United States.
· 1935 - Became a professor at the University of Iowa; published A Dynamic Theory of Personality.
· 1944 - Established research center at MIT.
· Died at age 57 on February 12, 1947 of a heart attack.

Kurt Lewin's Early Life:

Born in Prussia to a middle-class Jewish family, Kurt Lewin moved to Berlin at age 15 to attend the Gymnasium. He enrolled at the University of Frieberg in 1909 to study medicine before transferring to the University of Munich to study biology. He eventually completed a doctoral degree at the University of Berlin.

It was during his studies that he first developed an interest in Gestalt psychology. He volunteered for the German army in 1914 and was later injured in combat. These early experiences had a major impact on the development of his Field Theory and later study of group dynamics.


In 1921, Kurt Lewin began lecturing on philosophy and psychology at the Psychological Institute of the University of Berlin. His popularity with students and prolific writing drew the attention of Stanford University, which invited him to be a visiting professor in 1930. Eventually, Lewin emigrated to the U.S. and took a teaching position at the University of Iowa, where he worked until 1944.

While Lewin emphasized the importance of theory, he also believed that theories needed to have practical applications. He began applying his research to the war effort, working for the U.S. government. Lewin also established the Group Dynamics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Training Laboratories (NTL). Lewin died of a heart attack in 1947.

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