Hungarian scholar of theoretical, social and
doctor of Hungarian Academy of Sciences
University of Szeged, Hungary
founding professor of the
Graduated from the Faculty of Arts of philosophy and psychology (1959); Academy candidate's
thesis (1968), on the . Academy doctor's thesis (1988), on the social identity
and paradoxes of its psychic elaboration .
After teaching theoretical psychology at . (1969), social psychology at (from 1981 on),and
economic psychology at , Bakersfield and San Bernardino (1990) -- Dr Garai returned
to Hungary where he founded the Department of Economic Psychology at the
University of Szeged (formerly: Attila Jozsef Univ.), was head of that dept
(from 1997-2000) and prof. of economic psychology (from 1994-2005).
Laszlo Garai started his career as editor at the
Encyclopaedia Department of Hung. Academic Press (1959-1961). After finishing
his PhD studies (1961-1964) where he begin a research about the specifically
human needs; he finished
this research as a fellow of the Institute for Philosophy of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences (1964-1971). Invited (as a Keldysh grant winner) to the
Department of ’ psychology in the Institute for History of Natural
Sciences and Technology in the Soviet Academy of Sciences (Moscow, 1969-1970)).
In the Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences dr. Garai
founded (in 1970) a research department that became the first in Hungary
research team of and a center of theoretical research . Head of that
department (1971-79) and research advisor (1998-2002). He worked at the
Laboratoire Européen de Psychologie Sociale (Paris, 1971, 1973 and 1977)
and directed psycho-economic research supported by the National Scientific
Research Foundation (1990-2005). He was a member of the Advisory board of the
(Hungarian) Ministry of Finance (1991-1994).
According to a hypothesis of Garai's, a
paradoxical need for a needfree
activity is specific for humans and basic for their other needs. The
structure of the hypothesized need is isomorphic with that of thework considered as a "specifically
human basic activity" and defined as that of arranging in one and the same
structure ends and means". The hypothesis is based on the activity theory
1. ^ Personality
dynamics and social existence, Academic Press
4. ^ Personality
dynamics and social existence; Budapest: Academic Press, 1969. On the book
published in Hungarian see a detailed and well-documented English review of F.
Eros: "Personality dynamics and
social existence, by L. Garai". European Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 4 Issue 3, pp. 369-379.
5. ^ L. Garai, F. Eros, K. Jaro, M. Kocski and S. Veres:
"Towards a Social Psychology of Personality: Development and Current
Perspectives of a School of Social Psychology in Hungary." Social Science Information, 1979.
18:1. pp. 137-166.
and the Vygotskians: A cure
of the split psychology
* Marx' economico-philosophical
anthropology and a
Human Basic Need (SHBN):
Need for a needfree activity;
dynamics and social existence [In
Hungarian]; Budapest: Academic Press, 1969.
on the specifically human basic need (SHBN about a
structure that is isomorphic with a specifically human basic activity:
the work as an activity of
arranging in a structure ends and means and transferring that structure to various
parts of its universe. The hypothesis is based on the Leontievian activity
theory completed by a critical chapter about what is omitted from the
Leontievian interpretation of Vygotsky ("Social relation: Self-evidence or
and hermeneutic principles in Psychology: Activity and social categorization
(co-author: M. Kocski). Studies in Soviet Thought. 1991/1. 97-110.
two complementary theories (a "What does he?" type theory and a
"Who does it?: type theory) being given in Vygotsky's heritage. The
psychology gets disintegrated onto two hemi-sciences: one applying the positivistic methodology of natural
sciences (experimentation) and another one that applies a
"hermeneutic methodology of historical sciences" (interpretation). A Vygotskian
methodology provides the possibility to reintegrate the psychology by dealing
with "signs" and "tools" within the same structure)
The brain and the
mechanism of psychosocial phenomena. Journal of Russian and East-European Psychology. 31:6. 1994. 71-91.
Vygotskian implications: On the meaning and
keynote paper at a conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of L.
Vygotsky. Moscow, 1996. A Russian version
Another crisis in the psychology: A possible
motive for the Vygotsky-boom (co-author: M. Kocski). Journal of
Russian and East-European Psychology. 33:1. 82-94.
invited lecture of the 3rd Activity Theory Congress (Moscow, 1995). Deals with
disintegration of the psychology to a science based on experimentation according
to the positivistic methodology of natural sciences, and another one founded on
interpretation according to the hermeneutic methodology of historical sciences.
Considers the possibilities to reintegrate the psychology by a Vygotskian
methodology that would deal with signs and tools as functioning within the same
transaction cost modifier
case study on the
Hungarian poet Attila Jozsef
une théorie psychoéconomique de l'identité sociale.
Recherches Sociologiques. 1984. 313-335.
complementarity of socio-economic factors determining the more tolerant or the
more ruthless manner of imposing valued models of social identity, and, on the
other hand, psychosocial factors identifying positions in a system of
distribution of means of reproduction.
Identity: Cognitive Dissonance or Paradox? New Ideas in Psychology. 4:3.
cognitive dissonance as emerging between the social identity of persons and
that of their acts. Paradoxical consequences of the two identities' double bind
are analyzed: without doing A no one may pretend to the identity B and without
being subjected to this law no one may pretend to the identity B either.
A psychosocial essay on
Hungarian). Budapest: T-Twins, 1993. 231 p.
with social categorization elaborating social identity and with the deformation
of technically appropriate individual performances by an unconscious process
making out of them markers of this categorization on the background of the
paradoxes which make social categorization either impossible or unnecessary.
Applies the presented psychosocial theory for a case study of the great
Hungarian poet Attila József who's both works, acts and diseases'
symptoms including his suicide are analyzed as markers of his social
categorization on the background of the paradoxes of his expulsion from his main
* Social identity as transaction
constructions for the
strength and weakness of psychological science. International Social
Science Journal (published by UNESCO). 1973. 447-460.
economic activity in a post-capitalist system. Journal of Economic Psychology.
that the main tendency of (both planned and market) post-capitalist system is
considered to be the production of personal (and not only material) conditions
of functioning of that system. That includes not only production of technical
disposition to master things but also that of social disposition to master (or,
at least, be superior to) other persons. These are as important organizing
factors for an economic system producing its personal conditions as are value
in use and value in exchange for the one producing its material conditions.
Typical cases are cited when the economic activity is not determined by the
price of the item produced by it, but, rather, by the social identity of the
person producing it.
psychology of economic rationality. In: Understanding economic behavior. 12th
Annual Colloquium of IAREP, the International Association for Research in
Economic Psychology. Handelhoejskolen I Aarhus. 1987. Vol. I. 29-41.
for the impossibility of deriving rationality criteria from substantially given
human needs. Instead, it proposes a Lewin-type formal approach to the structure
of human activity whose ends, whatever they are, become quasi-need and
determine the value of other objects becoming means or barriers, depending on
their position in that field. For the specifically human activity taking into
consideration a further factor structuring the field is proposed: taboos. Thus,
the formal rationality criterion is: gaining ends in spite ofbarriers that
are surmounted by means got
in spite of taboos.
Bureaucratic State Governed by an Illegal Movement: Soviet-Type
societies and Bolshevik-Type Parties. Political Psychology. 10:1. 1991.
type societies evolve the universe of their ideological appearances in relation
not to matter as in a
capitalist society (according to Marx: reification) but to persons. Traditional Marxian criticism
of such an ideology claims persons in Soviet type societies to be but
personifications of positions in a bureaucratic structure. The paper argues
that the organizing principle of these societies is not bureaucracy but charisma originated from 20th
century's radical anti-bureaucratic mass movements. The social power that is
set not to the positions persons occupy but to persons directly gets provided
in those societies' structures not only to a charismatic leader but to the
whole headquarter, the whole party as a van of the revolutionary movement and
even the whole revolutionary movement. The paper analyzes the paradoxical
structure of that collective charisma: the person gets (and loses) his glamour
that is independent from his office by being invested with (and, resp.,
dismissed from) it just like with (from) an office. Democratic centralism is
described as the principle of such a paradoxical organization where the
"Centrum" gets its social power by being put in its charisma by a
"Demos" being put in its one by that social power. The connection of
such a paradoxical structure with the mass-production of social relations is
keynote paper opening the international conference of the Gorbachev Foundation
(Moscow, 1993) “Origins of the persistence of Bolshevik-type totalitarian
Economics: An Alternative Economic Psychology. Tas Editor, 2006. 294
pp. [In Hungarian]:
theory about a second modernization that
has imposed upon the socio-economic system the necessity of manufacturing (and
not only exploiting) human (and not only material) conditions of its
functioning, about these manufactured conditions analyzed in terms of human
capital. The theory makes a distinction between two kinds of psychologic
phenomena turned into economic factors: technical dispositions of mastering things' attributes and social dispositions of mastering persons'
relations. It states that unlike the material production depending only on
technical attributes of both producing and produced factors, the modern human
production is determined also by the factors' social relations. These are
conceptualized in terms of the economic agents' social identity that is considered as the main psychological
mediator of economic processes: it determines who from among the agents of an economic activity
turn out to be its principals.