Main activities - Psychology

Primary Activities

An incomputable variety of human activities can be classified according to the most diverse and dissimilar grounds: the subject, the motive, the ways of implementation, the physiological mechanisms, the emotional saturation, etc. It is clear that there is no universally recognized and exhaustive classification of all human activities, some, the most common gradations.

• In the most generalized plan, it is common to distinguish four main types of activity: labor, learning, gaming, communication.

A lot of psychological research has been devoted to them. Any of the named activities has many gradations and varieties. We will note about each of them only the most important, characteristic.

The essence of work activity is the creation of a result, the production of a certain product (material or spiritual), i.e. in the purposeful change, transformation of the world. Labor production is socially conditioned, conscious, and the result is pre-planned, anticipated. Psychological aspects of work, the psyche in the conditions of labor activity, are directed and versatilely researched by the specialized branch of science - labor psychology and its subsections. But as the labor activity of a person is extremely extensive and diverse, many of its aspects are inevitably studied by other sections of modern psychology (general, pedagogical, social, sports, psychology of creativity).

Learning activities - this is a specially organized, active assimilation (appropriation) of a person of socially developed knowledge, skills and abilities; one of the sides of the whole learning process as the interaction of the teacher and student. This is the activity of the student, aimed at self-change, ie. the subject directly ( object ) is directly the learner as the subject of learning activity (for more details, see Section IV).

The gaming activity is extremely diverse and psychologically specific in that it implements symbolic reproduction, the child's modeling of real life. In addition, the game is motivated by the process of functioning, action, and not by its result (for details, see Section III).

Communication as an activity are characterized by two main features. First, the subject of communication is another person - a subject or a group of people. Secondly, communication is an activity without fail complex, including three aspects: 1) perception (contact, perception and understanding of each other by the participants in communication); 2) communication (information exchange between the interlocutors); 3) Interaction (interaction). These components can have a different specific weight in a holistic communication, which significantly changes the very communication (for more details, see Section II).

It is clear that the listed activities in living behavior, real life necessarily cross, interact, exist for the person together and simultaneously.


In particular, without this or that participation of communication, neither work, nor play, nor teaching are inconceivable. Some elements of labor are necessarily present in almost every single activity. Thus, K.D. Ushinsky (1824-1870) noted that the teaching is a work full of activity and thought. Complex combinations of all four described activities are possible and vitally important. For example, a game of football is for the professional not so much a game, as a work and a joint activity. This applies to the actor's game, which combines creativity and reproduction, communication and teaching. Any real human activity is inherently complex, i.e. multidimensional and polimotivated, smoothly passing into the category of behavior.

• Another fairly common classification of activities is its division in age psychology on the basis of the so-called leading activity (according to DB Elkonin). Emotional communication is directly distinguished here; subject-manipulative, game, educational, communication, educational and professional activities (for details, see Section III).

• The psychologically important gradation of activity on the basis of where and with what it is carried out is the allocation of external (material) and internal (mental, mental) activity.

External activity is implemented in the material space with objectively existing material objects ( objects ). This is what a person directly and constantly produces in the world around him. It is this ego, primarily given, objective, which is usually called activity and behavior, that is identified, studied and classified by various sciences, including psychology.

Internal activity occurs in the ideal plan of mental reflection and is performed with images , i.e. not with material, but with secondary objects. It is not present in the objective physical space and time, but in the ideal, mental plane, in the psyche.

The psyche itself is in a certain sense a process, an activity, and not just a result of reflection, so it is internal activity that is largely the subject of psychology (see Chapter 1). In any case, only psychology seeks (by definition) to study precisely this inner, mental activity.

The question of the dynamic relationship of material and mental activity is central. Internal activity occurs from the external by internalization. The psychic is derived from matter, but it also produces it, it is transformed into it by exteriorization. Mental images and actions in this case materialize (for details, see Chapter 1).

The psychic really exists as a unity, the relation of the material and the ideal. The presence of such external and internal interrelations raises the question of the structure of mental activity. The main point, developed in the domestic psychology, is that the material and mental activities have, in principle, a similar "device". Meanwhile, the assumption of such an analogy does not at all mean the recognition of complete identity. Ideal activity is reduced, reduced, qualitatively different from external. Material action, passed in thought, a little like yourself as the original original.

Mental activity (by analogy with material) is objective, motivated. But the psychological representation of all this, as well as other components of internal activity: goals, actions, tasks and operations - is not clearly studied by modern science. There are many unresolved problems associated with the theory and practice of research of mental activity proper. What is its internal arrangement? What components are known for certain and really explored? Psychology has sought and will always seek answers to such burning questions.

Many works are devoted to perceptual activity , behind which the work of sensation and perception is conditionally worthwhile (for more details, see Chapter 12). A series of experimental studies, which have become almost classic, made, in particular, BG Ananiev, as well as in the scientific school of a prominent local psychologists L. Zaporozhets (1905-1981).

By mnemic activity is understood the complex work of memory processes (imprinting, preservation and reproduction), the overall effectiveness of which is largely mediated by the nature of the activity performed by man, and not necessarily mnemonic (for details, see Chapter 14).

Thinking activity can be considered as a synonym for the complex analytical and synthetic work of intelligence and thinking, which has specific procedural, operational, content and other characteristics (for details, see Chapter 15).

The term cognitive activity is a collective understanding of the performance of all processes of cognition of the world, i.e. realization of one of the leading functions of mental reflection. In addition to the processes of perception, memory and thinking, cognitive activity involves attention, imagination, emotions, will, consciousness. The world knows not the sum of mental processes, states and properties, but the personality as such (see § 38.2).

Several apart from the listed types of internal, mental activity is orienting activity , which, according to P. Ya. Galperin, is the subject of psychology as a science. According to the original author's hypothesis, orientation provides the implementation of such functions as:

• knowledge of the world or the construction of its image;

• Planning the necessary response action, ensuring its reasonableness;

• control over the course of the electoral process, i.e. a comparison of the result and intention (for details, see § 39.4).

A special place in human life, behavior and psyche is speech activity.

By speech activity is usually understood as a specific kind of psyche and behavior using language as its tool, means. The human psyche is internally mediated, armed with a sign, in one way or another verbal. By taken separately, speech activity becomes not internal, but material. It is carried out by means of material words and signs. Known in psychology, the unity of thinking and speech is "indicative" the unity of the ideal and the material; therefore, speech activity is a simple set of objectively existing words, and a special kind of mental activity (for details, see Chapter 17).

Thus, the selection and psychological analysis of the innumerable variety of activities chosen and carried out by man gives a reliable direction of scientific research of his real behavior and life. However, to describe and model the entire human psyche activity approach is not enough. He emphasizes only the active, producing side of the subjective image of the world.

Not everything in the psyche has a directly active origin and, moreover, an obligatory activity manifestation. Behind the psyche is functioning or "activity"; brain, some activity or "work"; soul. At the same time, in the subjective image of the world there is no less significant side - the "passive", subjectively (and actively) experienced. Mental processes (in the composition of one or another activity) ensure the receipt of a special product in the structure of an integral mental image.

Mental states and mental properties of the personality of such a specific result in the mental image do not. They indirectly reflect something else: the connection of man with the world, the relation to the world, his subjective experience, his own being. This is the highest reflection of only the world, but also of the reflecting personality; subjective reproduction, the mental image of the whole world, in other words, the Person in the World.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)