A Theory for Our Time

Welcome to Third Factor Magazine!

THIRD FACTOR. The autonomous factor of development. The first factor is the constitutional endowment, the second factor is the social environment. The third factor is the dynamism of conscious choice (valuation) by which one affirms or rejects certain qualities in oneself and in one’s environment. (Dabrowski, 1972) Welcome, readers! Allow us to introduce ourselves: we […]

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The Positive Disintegration of Robert F. Kennedy, Part I: The Overexcitable Attorney General

Years before I first heard the term “positive disintegration,” I was struck by the process as it played out in a biography of Robert F. Kennedy. Intense, quirky, and with a sense of the epic, RFK and his life journey reveal the human drama beneath Kazimierz Dabrowski’s academic jargon, showcasing overexcitability, dynamisms, and inner psychic transformation in all its dramatic glory.

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How Can “Disintegration” Be Positive?

When there’s a sickness in the society around you, Kazimierz Dabrowski argued that being maladjusted to it is actually a way to be mentally healthy. While such maladjustment still often leads us to disintegration, the good news is that this kind of disintegration may simply be a step on the broader process of reintegrating ourselves in a healthier, more powerful way.

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Overexcitability: Where It Came From, Where It’s Going

To navigate the controversy that has erupted around overexcitability—is it related to giftedness? Is it misused as excuse, or a reason not to seek needed help?—it’s useful to step back and see what it means in the context of the theory that gave it its name.

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The Journey Back From Hades: Reclaiming America Through Positive Disintegration

In this elegantly crafted, piercingly insightful piece, psychologist Elizabeth Mika describes precisely why the theory of positive disintegration is the right theory for the Trump era.

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