general systems theory

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A theory of organization and wholeness, introduced by the Austrian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901–72) in 1940 and expounded at length in his book General Systems Theory (1968), after he had moved to the US. It seeks to incorporate ideas of hierarchical organization, multivariable interaction, and goal-directed processes that are absent from physics and, according to general systems theorists, are therefore bypassed, denied, or overlooked in psychology and other areas where they occur. GST abbrev.

Subjects: Psychology.

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