Personality orientation and its psychological manifestations...

The direction of the personality and its psychological manifestations

Psychology of human needs

The personal orientation (in SL Rubinshtein's terminology) is the answer to the question of what a person wants, what is attractive to him, what he seeks for.

According to many researchers, the direction is a certain center, the psychological core of the individual, because it lays the foundation for man's relations with the world and for the world, sets the main lines of behavior, predetermines the system of preferences, values ​​and views, the position of the individual in life, the worldview of the person as a whole.

The direction of personality must be distinguished from the direction of activity and behavior. These opposite directions, of course, are related, but psychologically not identical. Ns all the potential aspirations of a person are realized in a concrete activity, but for all, psychological representation in the personality is characteristic.

The direction of personality ns is reduced solely to motivation. It characterizes not single acts of behavior, not short-term psychological formations, but personality as a whole. The direction of personality can be represented as a three-dimensional system of multidirectional vectors, each of which symbolizes some or other human needs, their directions and degree of expression, the level of activity of its orientations in the world. These vectors do not physically fit into some resultant force, but form a complex, dynamic, hierarchically organized system, each component of which has its own psychological existence.

There are three main manifestations of personality orientation :

1) the needs-motivational sphere of the personality - the integral system and hierarchy of needs, motives, goals, tasks, meanings, attitudes, interests, desires, values ​​and other psychological manifestations of the individual's aspirations;

2) a multi-level system of personal activity, a hierarchical set of activities subordinated to the corresponding motives and realizing behavior and being itself. A person chooses activities, creates and realizes them, they are formed, realized and live in;

3) the psychological structure of activity, the composition and structure of individual consciousness, the system of all possible relationships of the individual to the world and the world.

Need is a subjective state that corresponds to an objective need for something that does not belong to a person.

In this simple definition, there is an important psychological loophole: the dilution of the notions needs (objective) and needs (subjective). It is possible that a person has need, but lack of a corresponding need as a reflected, secondary, subjective state. This is a psychological level of consideration of the need, although it can exist, be isolated, and be studied at the biological, economic, energy level.

Psychologically, the need is presented as a state expressed through (in the language) motives, experiences, desires, interests, aspirations, values, attitudes, etc.

Of course, it is more difficult to study the manifestations of subjective needs states than to fix objective needs, but such a conceptual model more accurately describes this most important, in some way, the original psychological reality.

We list basic properties of the need .

1. Need by definition is subject, ie. on something directed, to something real related. There is no need for "anything", and this allows us to consider the need as a special, as it were, "passive", an indirect form of reflection and reproduction of the objective world. This reflection is not direct, but through the adopted need, through the prism of vital urgency and personal relevance.

The need reflects not the given, not the actual availability of the object, but its subjective significance, need for the person.

In the process of development, in the temporal life cycle, the property of objectness needs can exist in some hidden, unfinished, indefinite quality. But then a certain psychological and behavioral event takes place, when the need is imprinted, finds its real and concrete subject, when an emergency act of objectifying needs is realized.


As an illustration of this classic phenomenon, let us mention the imprinting phenomenon (imprinting) described in zoopsychology. By the time a duckling hatched from an egg one or two times move an object. As a result, the duckling begins to follow this subject. The latent need of a duckling in the mother found itself in an extraneous subject, and time and special efforts are needed for a new, biologically normal redefinition of this need.

The search and finding of the object of need are psychologically interesting in that this object corresponds not only to the external irritant, but also corresponds to the internal conditions of the organism, so that the need takes a direct part not only in the construction of the image, but also in the internal, subjective regulation of behavior.

2. Another property of need is considered to be its participation in activation of the psyche, behavior and activity. The need serves as the source, the necessary energy condition for the presence of any activity. It is present in any initiative act, it is behind every mental activity and activity: material and mental, although it is not, nc is considered in psychology a real motivator (or motive).

3. The need has the property or ability to satisfaction and to the subsequent reproduction, renewal. Needs exist and change always when there is life. They have their own current, phases of relevance, exist in time, and behavior and activities to meet them constitute a certain basis of human life.

4. The properties of needs include their indispensable intramural dynamics, change, development (or regress), which can occur in two interrelated directions:

1) change (expansion or narrowing) of the circle, fields of objects, satisfying the needs. So, the need for cognition, satisfied at the expense of children, "why?", Differs from the cognitive need of an adult person, objectified in books or textbooks;

2) changing ways of satisfaction, means of acting with the object. For example, the technicization of ways to meet the need for communication (telephone, telefax, Internet) essentially transforms the very need, and hence, the person. A change in the means of realizing any need gives it new meanings, nuances and shades of experience. The world of human needs lives and moves, affecting the whole psyche, personality and being.

Developed and formed human needs are deeply specific .

• The basic feature of human needs is that they have a largely public, socialized, historical character. Moreover, a special class of sociogenic needs arises for a person, connected exclusively with social existence - interaction and communication with other people. These needs do not replace biological ones, they are not added to them, but fundamentally reconstruct the entire sphere of the personality. A person's needs can not be fully read read by his anatomy and physiology; these needs are qualitatively transformed and complicated, socialized.

Such an interpretation of the existence and development of human needs is not adhered to by all schools of world psychology. There have been and still are approaches in which social is opposed to biological, is considered something secondary, disturbing, even hostile to the individual. One can "prove", for example, that a person's need for food does not differ from the animal's eponymous need, if one deprives a person of a knife, plates, forks, etc. up to the identity of biochemical processes. A person in fact will still take raw (and almost any) food, tearing it with his hands. According to similar experiments, only the fact that human needs can be simplified, "humanized" if one places a person in special life or social conditions, proves. This is, for example, a concentration camp, a prison, natural disasters, all sorts of personal, social and technogenic catastrophes, when biological survival becomes a topical and difficult task. However, in such extreme conditions, people behave differently and do not necessarily become animal-like.

Objective, and not simplistic, biologic study of human needs leads psychology to the level of endlessly controversial categories of ideology, ethics, morality, morality. The psychology of needs, the psychology of the individual goes to the global problems of universal human categories and values.

• The second characteristic of human needs, which is also a derivative of its species sociality, is that the person himself produces objects , satisfying his needs. Of course, this is far not to all human needs, but as a whole it sets the path, the means of reliably creating people's new and new needs.

It is known AN Leontiev's statement that a man eats chocolate not because he feels the need for chocolate. On the contrary, the fact of the existence of chocolate leads to the appearance of such a need. Indeed, if there were no books, cigarettes, weapons, aircraft, computers in the modern world, people could not have the corresponding needs either. But in Leontiev's example there is still some psychological simplification. To eat chocolate is not enough objective knowledge about its existence. It is necessary to subjectively desire, want to acquire this object, i.e. have an experienced need state.

• Another characteristic feature of human needs is the possibility of their awareness, why they become for the person relatively stable. A person is able to dissolve in the mind the objective meaning and subjective meaning of his need. This leads to a relative persistence of behavior, the release of the individual from the compulsory fulfillment of the requirements of urgent needs. Despite the objective dynamics of presence/absence, tension/relaxation, conscious needs seem subjectively relatively constant. The subject of a satisfied need does not cease to exist for a person, does not lose its subjective meaning and objective meaning. Otherwise, the behavior of a person would be impulsive, and open-minded, primitive, socially unpredictable and virtually uncontrollable for the society and for the individual.

• Finally, human needs are specific not only to unique qualities, but also to the way they are systematized and personalized. It is believed that the needs of animals are ranked, organized according to the principle of dominance, when each in the order of priority becomes the main and organizes adequate behavior. Human needs are connected in a fundamentally different way, forming a systemic subordination, or hierarchy. This is not an arrangement near or in line with the "rank", but a mutual, joint action, co-participation in the structure of the person's shared direction.

Hierarchy is manifested in the fact that in the structure of human needs there is a certain need or group, which for a certain and long enough time subordinates all other needs to itself.

Such subordination does not mean suppression, prohibition. It is, rather, the centralization of management, "weighing" influence of all components of the system in the name of the realization of life's chosen personality. Here, centralized management is combined with due autonomy of other levels, reasonable decentralization. Apparently, the ideal model of such a hierarchical organization is the human nervous system, its multilevel structure and functioning.


Speaking about the emergence in the phylogeny of the hierarchy of human needs, Vygotsky denoted such a mental scheme. At first, man acted to survive, to support biological existence. But then (long ago and now) a person lives principally for another: to act, to carry out initiative, his own and necessary activity and activity. In the supposed history of mankind, the vital place, the psychological status and needs, and the activities in the structure of the personality and the psyche have changed qualitatively. As a result, the fundamental unity of the body and the spiritual, social and psychical was formed for the person and the whole of human existence.

Hierarchy of needs

The most famous and widespread model of the hierarchy of human needs is the construction of the 1950s, developed by one of the creators of modern Western humanistic psychology, a major American psychologist A. Maslow. He proceeded from other (than the above) interpretations of the concepts of need, personality, psyche. However, in many respects, his approaches and conclusions seem profound, sufficiently demonstrative, and, most importantly, promising. The most valuable, in our opinion, lies in the convinced philanthropy of the psychological position of Maslow, who believed, for example, that every person should be what he can be.

The famous pyramid of needs but Maslow, representing the hierarchy of the needs of some average American, is constructed (in the abbreviated form) from five layers, related levels, located by the author on the conditional vertical. The lower the need, the more urgent, necessary for life, is formed and manifested before. In this sense, lower does not mean secondary, detrimental to higher needs. The movement of a person up on the vertical of the satisfied needs means greater biological, physical well-being, greater individualism, selfishness, security and independence.

The lower layer are physiological needs , which include the needs for food, shelter, sleep, clothes, sex, etc. We will not comment on these needs, noting only that any of the above needs is actually biological only relative, depending on the specific society and real person. For example, a dwelling has, for a person, of course, an initially vital physiological value. But modern dwelling (device, architecture, filling, location) is largely a socialized subject of need (fashion, prestige, traditions). The human dwelling has long been "unnecessarily beautiful", i.e. serves not only to meet biological, but also many social and aesthetic needs.

At second level there are security needs , i.e. in the preservation of the already achieved prosperity (material and social). Lack of satisfaction of these needs is associated with such negative experiences as pain, gay, fear, personality disorder. It is clear how large is the influence of a particular state and society, the peculiarities of their structure, customs and traditions, laws and rules of real social existence.

The third layer of the pyramid takes the need for communication with other people. We emphasize its high and actual vital urgency. A person psychologically starts in ontogeny with direct emotional communication (see Section III). But further, at all stages of development and life, communication and interaction with other people constitute the essence of human existence. Communication is not only communication as the exchange or circulation of information, but first of all the existence of a personal, psychological contact between people.

At fourth level there is a need for respect and self-esteem . Everyone and at any age wants to be recognized, accepted, understood, respected by others, although such a claim for recognition has great individual differences. A person constantly compares, compares, identifies himself with someone, but at the same time separates himself from something, self-allocates himself. Personality is opposed by two needful tendencies: to be like everyone else and different from other people.

At the highest, fifth level there is a need for self-actualization , which can be considered a symbol of the entire Maslow scheme. It is man's need to develop all his abilities; the need for self-realization, aspiration "up", to success and perfection, personal and social well-being.

The presented hierarchy scheme characterizes the so-called average person. But individual psychological personality gradations are possible. For example, a shift downward, toward an increase in the subjective urgency of the need for respect distinguishes people of power. For creative personalities greater importance than, say, respect for others, acquires the need for self-actualization, the completion of some subjectively important case.

A prolonged lack of satisfaction can lead to a decrease in its urgency, a general level and, accordingly, "rebuild" the whole personal "pyramid". The hierarchy is changeable, and the individual can strive for the realization of the higher needs, for a long time ns having the satisfaction of "lower". To implement an individual approach to a person, it is important to establish that current level of needs, below which they are already satisfied, and therefore are not psychologically effective.

In addition to the hierarchy, the needs sphere of the personality is characterized by breadth, intensity, stability, efficiency, awareness and other qualitative and possibly quantitative parameters, each of which can become psychologically decisive for a person under certain conditions. S. L. Rubinshtein noted that the whole person was already included in the needs. Therefore, understanding a person's psychology - means first of all to understand his needs.

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)