Aleksei Leontiev, Soviet psychologist

Aleksei Leontiev, Soviet psychologist

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Caption: Aleksei Nikolaevich Leontiev (1903-1979), Soviet developmental psychologist. Leontiev spent his early years developing a Marxist psychology based on the stimulus-response mechanism. From 1930 he started work on activity theory, the concept that when individuals engage with their environment they develop tools. These tools exteriorise their mental processes and, within a societal structure, become available for others to use. This formed the basis of much of Soviet psychological theory, particularly relating to education, training, ergonomics and work. In 1966 Leontiev became the first ever Dean of Psychology at Moscow State University, a position he held until his death. Photographed in 1976.

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