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Roger Garlock Barker (1903, Macksburg, Iowa - 1990) was a social scientist, a founder of environmental psychology and a leading figure in the field for decades, perhaps best known for his development of the concept of behavior settings.
Barker earned his PhD from Stanford University and spent two years studying with Kurt Lewin. In the 1940s Barker and his associate Herbert Wright from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas set up the Midwest Psychological Field Station station in the nearby town of Oskaloosa, Kansas, a town of fewer than 2000 people. Barker's team gathered empirical data in Oskaloosa from 1947 through 1972, consistently disguising the town as 'Midwest, Kansas' for publications like "One Boy's Day" (1952) and "Midwest and Its Children" (1955). Based on this data, Barker first developed the concept of the behavior setting to help explain the interplay between the individual and the immediate environment. Basic to Barker's approach to psychology was that the assertion that the experimental method is not valid in psychology, rather description of each individual is the only valid method of investigation.
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