Introduction, Introduction to Psychology, Subject of Psychology...


This training manual is the result of many years of the author's work with students of the pedagogical specialties of the university and students of the courses of retraining and advanced training of educators. In presenting the educational material provided for by the State Educational Standard in the lecture classes, there was a constant lack of time, as it was desirable not only to consider the main provisions of the theory of general psychology, but also to ensure that listeners perceived them vividly and with interest. To achieve this goal I was helped by vivid examples, statements of outstanding people, use of drawings, schemes, caricatures. Gradually, during the work, the idea of ​​a teaching aid was born. The book consists of five parts, each of which is divided into chapters. At the end of the chapters, questions and tasks for self-examination and knowledge control are given.

In the first part of the manual, the problems of the formation of psychology as an independent science, the problem of the method in psychology, the brief review of methods of objective psychology, descriptive psychology and methods of psychological practice are given. A separate chapter is devoted to the development of the psyche in the process of evolution. Particular attention is paid to the emergence and development of the human psyche.

In the second part, the most famous theories of motivation are presented and the analysis of factors affecting success in life and activity is made: the role of self-esteem and level of claims, personal anxiety, predominant motivation in the fate of a person is shown.

The third part is devoted to the description of the regularities of the flow of cognitive processes, the processes of sensation, perception, attention, memory, thinking and imagination are considered in detail.

In the fourth part, a brief review of the most famous theories of personality is made, the main provisions of the theory of temperament are considered, the questions of the psychology of character and abilities are covered, the problems of the emotional-volitional sphere are described in sufficient detail.

The fifth part analyzes the problems of the psychology of communication and the psychology of the group.

In all sections of the manual, a detailed presentation and analysis of the theoretical questions of the course are combined with examples of their practical application in everyday life. The practical orientation of the course was the main reference point for the selection of the publication's material. I hope that this training manual will not only be cognitive and interesting, but also really useful for the reader.

Part 1. Introduction to Psychology

Chapter 1. Subject of Psychology

Psychology and very old, and quite a young science. It has a thousand-year past and, nevertheless, it is still in the future. Its existence as an independent scientific discipline is estimated only for decades; but its main problems have occupied philosophical thought since there is a philosophy.

S.A. Rubinstein

History of the formation of the subject of psychology

Already primitive people asked themselves questions not only about the world around them, but also questions concerning themselves: about experiences, about visions, about what will happen to them after death, about the causes of actions, etc.

Our ancestors at first tried to explain spiritual activity, suggesting that another being in the human body is engaged in deciphering what his eyes see, hear ears and feel the skin. This creature began to be called the "soul". The soul was endowed with the ability to go out when a person sleeps. It was believed that at the time of death the soul leaves the body forever. This belief, widespread in antiquity, is preserved among many peoples who are at the primitive levels of the development of society and at the present time.

The more complicated the spiritual world of a person, the more difficult it was to explain the actions and experiences of people with the help of the soul. And ancient people invented gods for themselves. Those thoughts and actions of man, which the ancients could not understand or explain, they attributed to the action of mysterious and powerful forces.

More than 800 years before Christ, the Greek poet Homer described in the Iliad and "Odyssey", how the gods interfered in the lives of people, forced them to fall in love, gave them courage in battle or took it away, directed their anger or a sense of revenge. By its name and first definition, psychology owes it to Greek mythology.

Eros, the son of Aphrodite, fell in love with a very beautiful young woman Psyche. Unfortunately, Aphrodite was very unhappy that her son, God, wanted to unite his destiny with a mere mortal. She did her best to separate the lovers, forcing Psyche to go through a series of trials. Love Psyche was so strong, and the desire to meet Erota again is so great that it made a deep impression on the gods and goddesses. They decided to help her fulfill all the requirements of Aphrodite. Zeus turned Psyche into a goddess. So the lovers were united forever.

For the Greeks, this myth was a classic example of true love. Therefore Psyche - mortal, having attained immortality - has become a symbol of the soul, seeking its ideal.

Men and women get into unpleasant situations.


Fig. 1. Men and women get into unpleasant situations. The ancients in many of their misfortunes blamed the gods, who either avenged or rewarded, depending on their whims

The very term & quot; psychology & quot; is formed from the Greek words psyche (soul) and logos (teaching, science). For the first time this term was introduced into science by the German philosopher Christian Wolff only in the 18th century. But psychology became an independent science only in the XIX century, when the first psychological laboratory was founded in Leipzig University in 1879. It was headed by Wilhelm Wundt. Up to this point, psychology was one of the sections of philosophy. 1879 is considered the official date of birth of psychology as an independent scientific discipline.

In the XIX century. psychology from the division of philosophy about the soul turns into an independent science of consciousness. Wundt criticized the old ideas about the subject of psychology. He believed that from the science of the mystical, beyond the control of the soul, psychology should become a science of consciousness, more precisely, of the structures of consciousness.

Q. Wundt suggested his followers to study the processes available to both external and internal observation, having both psychological and physiological reasons.

The successes of physics and chemistry are due primarily to the methods of dissecting matter into its elementary elements that are applied in these sciences. Having isolated and studied these elementary elements, scientists were able to create theories explaining the structure of matter, to open the prospect for new experiments.

Wundt and his collaborators tried to apply the same approach in the analysis of consciousness. They tried to identify and describe its simplest structures. The structural approach has become very popular.

Thus, consciousness was broken down into mental elements, just as an entire orange was divided into segments. The adherents of the structuralist approach were convinced that the role of psychology is reduced to giving as detailed description of these elements as possible.

To achieve this goal, the method of introspection (introspection) was used as the leading method, consisting in the fact that the subject who has been preliminarily trained is asked to describe what he feels when he finds himself in a particular situation.

Introspection as a method has two major drawbacks. First, this is a very subjective method of analyzing behavior: each subject describes his own impressions or experiences that rarely coincide with the impressions of another subject: one sound sounded loud, and the other sounded loud in strength; that one was nice, the other seemed unpleasant.

Secondly, worse, the sensations of the same person vary from day to day: what seemed pleasant on Monday can become boring on Tuesday and frankly unpleasant on Wednesday.

As a result, psychologists came to the conclusion that the "atoms" consciousnesses are little like atoms, for example, iron. Consciousness is not composed of some frozen elements, but is in the process of development and constant change. Moreover, it is impossible to measure consciousness with the help of such a subjective method as introspection. This is why the view of psychology as a science of consciousness structures was soon abandoned, although it was successful for several years.

Let's put ourselves in the place of the subject, who first enters the laboratory of Wundt in 1879 - the first laboratory of experimental psychology ... What will he see there? Depending on the purpose of the study, the subject is given the opportunity to perceive certain phenomena: before him, different colors arise, their brightness decreases or increases; they are accompanied or not accompanied by sounds ... The subject is sitting in a comfortable pose. He has already been introduced to the method of introspection, which consists in realizing what is happening and describing it at the moment of the stimulus's impact. The subject is asked to describe in words the sensations caused by the stimulus in him, and, in particular, the relationship between the sensation and the accompanying feeling: "red excites", and "blue, it seems to me, soothes"; "This piercing sound is more unpleasant than the previous one" etc. Experimenters try to explore the content of consciousness in this way.

Stormy XX century. was accompanied by an aggravation of economic and social problems that needed to be addressed. Psychology was designed to become one of the tools that will help to cope with problems and achieve harmony of a person with himself and the world. In addition, under the influence of new points of view that arose in psychiatry, and discoveries in the physiology of the nervous system, the emerging science of psychology began to seek new directions for research.

We can say that today there is no single psychology, but there are different directions, currents, scientific schools. The term & quot; psychology & quot; is used, as a rule, in conjunction with another word: psychology of consciousness, functional psychology, Soviet psychology, etc.

The currents and schools in psychology should not be confused with its branches, reflecting the process of internal differentiation of science. The branches of psychology can be classified according to various grounds: psychology of work, political, economic, social, sports, medical, pedagogical, legal psychology, psychology of religion, arts, aviation, engineering psychology, etc .; on the volume and specificity of development - animal psychology (zoopsychology), human psychology (anthropological psychology), child and age psychology.

Differentiation of psychology answers first of all the practical tasks facing science. Each of the branches of psychology has its own specific tasks. For example, the general purpose of pedagogical psychology is the scientific and psychological justification of pedagogical activity; age psychology is aimed at creating a theory of human mental development in ontogeny.

The mechanism of design of currents, trends and scientific schools in psychology is different. Scientific directions here are different in their subject, studied problems, conceptual system, explanatory schemes. The psychological reality of a person appears in them from a certain angle, some aspects of his psychic life come to the fore, are studied thoroughly and in detail, others are either not studied at all, or they get a very narrow interpretation.

Consider the notion of a person in the most influential and widely known areas of modern psychology.


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