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[Xmca-l] Followup on "If you want to under something, try to change it"



Poking along with this issue I have arrived at Urie Bronfenbrenner's 1979
volume on the ecology of human development.
There, among other things, I found a passage where he links this idea to
the notion of formative, or as he translates it here,
a transformative, experiment that he takes from......

This foreshortened theoretical  perspective [of American psychology-mc]  was
first brought to my attention by Professor A. N. Leontiev of the University of
Moscow. At the time, more than a decade ago, I was an exchange scientist at
the Institute of Psychology there. We had been discussing differences in the
assumptions underlying research on human development in the Soviet Union and
in the United States. In summing up his views, Professor Leontiev offered
the following judgment: "It seems to me that American researchers are
constantly seeking to explain how the child came to be what he is; we in the
U.S.S.R. are striving to discover not how the child came to be what he is,
but how he can become what he not yet is."



Leontiev's statement is of course reminiscent of Dearborn's** in­junction ("
If you want  to understand  something, try to change it."), but it goes much
further; indeed, in Leontiev's view, it is  revolutionary in its
implications. Soviet psychologists often speak of what they call the
"transforming experiment." By this they mean an experiment   that  radically
 restructures   the  environment,   producing a new configuration that
activates previously unrealized behavioral potentials of the subject.
(1979, p. 41)


For them what's interested.

mike


(**Dearborn was one of UB's psych professors - as noted on xmca, this
notion is widely attributed to Kurt Lewin U.B acknowledged as a major
influence on his work)

-- 

All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes
you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something
that isn't even visible. N. McLean, *A River Runs Through it*