field theory

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Any theory in which phenomena are interpreted as resulting from the dynamic interplay of elements within a field, especially (in psychology) the theory introduced in 1935 by the Polish/German-born US psychologist Kurt Lewin (1890–1947). According to Lewin's field theory, psychological events occur within a type of field called a life space, within which the important relations are qualitative aspects of connection and position, such as belongingness, membership, and part-whole relationships. Behaviour is interpreted as a function of the person and the life space, this relation being expressed by the equation B = f(LS), and the life space is interpreted as the person and the environment, so that B = f(P, E), meaning that behaviour is a joint function of the person and the environment, behaviour being represented as locomotion from one region of the life space to another, regions that attract or repel having valence. See also hodological space, Lewinian, topological psychology.

Subjects: Psychology — Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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