As a result of mastering this topic, the student must:


• the basic principles of building a theory of common sense;

be able to

• Analyze the main factors explaining the child's behavior from the position of common sense;

• Identify personal and environmental factors in determining the behavior of the child;


• The skills of analyzing the theory of common sense from the standpoint of modern scientific knowledge.

General characteristics of the human psyche in the theory of common sense

Common sense is the first system of views that a person learns and relies on to solve psychological problems. At the same time, common sense resists scientific knowledge. However, the verification of the truth of scientific knowledge and its understanding is carried out at the level of worldview. In fact, ordinary consciousness is the instrument on which scientific knowledge is based. The breadth of the application of everyday knowledge, however, also determines its shortcomings. Since common sense constitutes an integral worldview of a person, answering various questions, it is characterized by a certain vagueness, inaccuracy of formulations, so-called everyday concepts. There is nothing surprising in that common sense can contain contradictory statements. This contradiction is proved by scientific knowledge. For example, if a person has a toothache, then from the position of expert knowledge in this situation it is necessary to go to the doctor, which is also recognized by common sense. However, quite often people take painkillers and do not pay attention to the problem. That is, on the one hand, according to common sense it is necessary to treat the tooth, and on the other - it is enough to eliminate the pain and not pay attention to the destruction of the tooth.

Another characteristic lack of common sense is his prejudice, which leads to the formation of stereotypes and simplified forms of explanation. The strength of the worldly point of view is that it is focused on a specific situation and allows you to achieve quite certain goals. In other words, common sense is always associated with the process of achieving something.

Common sense in explaining what is happening is based on evidence. Therefore, it is relatively easy to interpret the observed, clearly presented physical phenomena and processes (for example, seasonal changes in nature). Much more difficult is the understanding of mental phenomena. The human psyche is not directly represented outside. Its study can be based on behavior. From the point of view of common sense, behavior is an expression of the thoughts and moods of the acting person. Because they are not visible, the observer ascribes his own thoughts and feelings to another person. Based on this attribution is built not only an explanation, but also an expectation of the future results of the actions of another person.

Strictly speaking, the position of common sense is not an object of analysis of child psychology. However, since the real interaction of children and parents is carried out on the basis of this point of view, it is advisable to consider it.

For most adults, common sense is associated with two main components. Its first component is characterized by the beliefs of the person whom it adheres to and which do not require special proof. You can say that these beliefs for a person are so obvious that they do not need to be explained, there is no need to think about them, you just need to follow them. It is assumed that every normal person will share these beliefs. An example of such a belief is the opinion of the majority of people, according to which we are more protected in a situation where there are a large number of people around us (since we assume that in this case the probability of receiving assistance is higher) than in a situation where only one person is nearby . However, studies conducted by American psychologists showed that since in the crowd each person has the opportunity to delegate responsibility to a nearby witness (that is, anyone can say: "Why I should help? There will be others who will come to the rescue") , then real help in this case comes less often or does not come at all. If one person is witness to an incident, then due to the impossibility of "stalling" responsibility for intervention in the situation (due to the fact that no one is near), the necessary support comes more often and more quickly.

The second component of a common sense position can be represented as a widely held opinion. In this case it is assumed that the position of common sense allows one or another judgment to be considered either correct or erroneous, depending on whether it shares it the bulk of the parents or not. An example is the idea shared by most adults: from a certain age the child must be taught a foreign language. From the position of common sense, this idea is obvious. For modern residents of our country, it does not require special evidence and is shared by the majority of parents. It finds expression in the organization of foreign language classes in groups of kindergarten. Although, for example, in the relatively recent past, there were no such language classes for preschool children.

Thus, we can say that the position of common sense in relation to child development is characterized by beliefs that are shared by most people and do not require special proof.

This position began to be studied by the American psychologist Fritz Haider in the 1930s-1940s. He found that a single theory of common sense that describes the psychology of man does not exist, but one can establish general tendencies in explaining the behavior of people from the position of common sense. It should be stressed once again that the position of common sense due to its obviousness for an adult, as a rule, is not realized. It does not act as a point of view that can be trusted or not trusted. It is simply used by the adult when interacting with the child. Within the framework of this position one of the key issues of child development is formulated: why does the child behave this way, and not otherwise in a specific situation?

Austrian and American psychologist F. Haider suggested that a person who is on the common sense position strives to simplify the reasons for the observed behavior as much as possible.

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