Nikolai Lange

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lange, Nikolai Nikolaevich


Born Mar. 12 (24), 1858, in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 15,1921. Russian psychologist.

Lange graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1882. He began working at the psychology laboratory of W. Wundt in Leipzig in 1883. From 1888 to 1921 he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Odessa, where he organized one of the first experimental-psychology laboratories in Russia. Lange formulated a law of perception dealing with the phasic character of the process of perception and a general direction of phase shifts from a generalized sensory image of an object to an increasingly differentiated one. He developed a motor theory of attention: attention is a motor reaction of the body to improve the conditions for perception. Lange’s emphasis on external motor acts shows the similarity between his psychological ideas and the reflex theory of I. M. Sechenov. Lange was a prominent advocate of higher education for women in Russia. He was the first to translate Aristotle’s Prior Analytics into Russian (1894).


Istoriia nravstvennykh idei 19 veka, part 1. St. Petersburg, 1888.
Dusha rebenka v pervye gody zhizni. St. Petersburg, 1891. Psikhologicheskie issledovaniia. Odessa, 1893.
Psikhologiia. Moscow, 1914. (Bibliography.)


El’kin, D., and L. Shapiro. “Psikhologicheskoe nasledie N. N. Lange.” Trudy Odesskogo gosudarstvennogo un-ta, 1941, vol. 2.
Teplov, B. M. “Osnovnye idei v psikhologicheskikh trudakh N. N.Lange.” Voprosy psikhologii, 1958, no. 6.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.