An excellent overview of Kurt Lewin and his theory can be found in:
Hall, C.S. and Lindzey, G., 1978. Theories of Personality, 3rd Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
The principal characteristics of Lewin's field theory may be summarised as follows:
Lewin also emphasizes underlying forces (needs) as determiners of behavior and expresses a preference for psychological as opposed to physical or physiological descriptions of the field. A field is defined as "the totality of coexisting facts which are conceived of as mutually interdependent" (Lewin, 1951, p. 240)
- behavior is a function of the field that exists at the time the behavior occurs,
- analysis begins with the situation as a whole from which are differentiated the component parts, and
- the concrete person in a concrete situation can represented mathematically.
Hall and Lindzey, 1978, pg 386
As you might guess from the paragraph quoted above, Lewin uses the language of physics, geometry and mathematics in analyzing human behavior.
Hall and Lindzey also provide a bibliography of primary sources which may be useful to anyone looking for information on Lewin's theory:
Lewin, K. A dynamic theory of personality. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1935.
Lewin, K. Principles of topological psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936
Lewin, K. The conceptual representation and measurement of psychological forces. Contr. psychol. Theor., 1938, 1(4).
Lewin, I. Resolving social conflicts; selected papers on group dynamics. Gertrude W. Lewin (Ed.). New York: Harper & Row, 1948.
Lewin, K. Field theory in social science; selected theoretical papers. D. Cartwright (Ed.). New York: Harper & Row, 1951
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