Personalistic Psychology

  • Edward Spranger
  • William Stern
  • Gordon W. Allport


The man who implemented Dilthey’s ideas of a psychology based on understanding was Edward Spranger. Spranger wholeheartedly accepted Dilthey’s distinction between the explanatory, analytic, atomistic psychology related to the sensory elements and their physiological foundations, and the descriptive, understanding, molar psychology whose subject matter is the human mind and its total structure. Leaving the explanatory aspect out, Spranger devoted his studies to the understanding of the individual as a whole, because the study of elements “destroys the meaningful totalities of life.” Moreover, Spranger doubted whether an “objective” study was ever possible in psychology. Psychology, as a Geisteswissenschaft, depends on the personal philosophies of the psychologists and the cultural influences on their convictions. 1


Human Mind Mental Phenomenon Personalistic Psychology Functional Autonomy Combat Drive 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Spranger
  • William Stern
  • Gordon W. Allport

There are no affiliations available

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