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Methodological foundations of acmeology

Methodology is the doctrine of scientific principles and the method of cognition. Initially, methodology became the subject of philosophical reflection and acted as a system of socially tested principles and rules of cognition in their correlation with the laws of objective reality. Although the methodology has close ties with theory, it is not identical to it. At present, it is generally accepted that theory is the result of a process of cognition, and methodology determines the ways to achieve and build this knowledge *.

* Psychology. Dictionary / Ed. A.V. Petrovsky and M.G. Yaroshevsky. - M .: Politizdat, 1990.



The methodology is general in nature, but nevertheless it is concretized in relation to various areas of practical and theoretical activity. In other words, the methodology acts as a general system of explanatory principles or approaches to cognition and allows you to determine how to conduct scientific research with a given subject and object.

The development of the methodological basis of acmeology began from the moment of its formation as a science. The specificity of the subject, object and goals of acmeology forced researchers to concentrate on the principles and methods of cognition. As a result of theoretical and methodological studies, united by the general idea of ​​the progressive development of a mature personality when reaching heights in development and the search for proportionality of social and life changes to the personal properties of a person, a system of methodological principles of acmeology was substantiated. The methodological principles used in acmeological research are, on the one hand, common to the sciences included in the complex of human studies, and on the other hand, have a specific acmeological content.

I would like to note that in scientific research when solving methodological problems, the concepts of “principle” and “approach” are often shared. For example, one can come across the terms “systematic approach” and “principle of systemicity”. Let us explain our position on this issue:

• the principle in science is the basic initial theoretical position, the guiding idea;

• The approach is a special synthesis of knowledge based on certain principles.

Thus, between the approach and the principle there are the closest connections. Some recognized psychologists and philosophers practically identify them. In particular, the famous domestic psychologist K. K. Platonov wrote: “A systematic approach is the principle of psychology, which consists in understanding each person as a system” *.

* Platonov K.K. Psychology system and theory of reflection. - M.: Science, 1982.



A. V. Brushlinsky adhered to a similar point of view, speaking literally - "... the subjective approach or the principle of subjectivity ...". Without going into the scientific questions of the correlation of these categories, we note that here we proceed from the positions of their proximity.

The theoretical and methodological studies made it possible to substantiate and describe the acmeological content of general and particular methodological principles that are fundamental to acmeology. These are primarily the following principles:

• complexity;

• systematic;

• subject;

• determinism;

• social determination of personality;

• principles of development, humanism, etc.

Let us dwell on the most important of them.

The principle of complexity, or an integrated approach, is aimed at integrating knowledge about the various qualities, properties and conditions of a person and the various systems in which he carries out his life activities. The development of an integrated approach is associated with the name of B. G. Ananiev, who formulated the task of a holistic approach to the study of man and the integration of knowledge about him.

General characteristics of the integrated approach are: focus on identifying multidimensionality, multifactoriality, heterogeneity of ontological determinants and components. In the humanitarian disciplines, orientation to the complexity of research has led to the emergence of a new scientific field - human studies, which has set itself the goal of creating a holistic integrative approach to the study of man.

A comprehensive approach in acmeology is aimed at integrating multilevel knowledge about the laws and mechanisms of the progressive development of a person as an individual, subject of activity, personality and individuality. The specificity of the integrated approach in acmeology also lies in the fact that it sets the orientation on the unity of study and real improvement of a person.

The systematic approach differs from the complex, although it is very closely related to it. Its main idea is to study the object as a whole, but consisting of different interconnected elements, ordered and complexly organized. A systematic approach appeared and was actively developed in cybernetics (L. Bertalanfi, N. Wiener, A.I. Berg), general systems theory (J. Gig, N.N. Moiseev, V.N. Sadovsky, V. King, etc. ), philosophy (V.P. Kuzmin, E.G. Yudin, etc.), physiology (P.K. Anokhin, K.V. Sudakov, etc.), when it became necessary to study and create very complex objects with different nature. In psychological research, the systematic approach has received its powerful development, thanks to the works of A.A. Bodalev, B.A. Ganzen, E.A. Klimov, A.N. Leontyev, B.F. Lomov, K.K. Platonov and others. System descriptions of psychological knowledge, personality structure, mental states, activities, some mental functions were developed.

In acmeology, the principle of consistency allows you to uncover the content of the progressive development of the personality and its personal and professional development as an acmeological system. There is an opinion that the specificity of the system approach in acmeology is that its objects do not have a clearly defined level system structure, since the dynamic changes associated with the development and heterochronism of these processes make the structure very mobile and changeable, although the system’s goal images highlighted very distinctly. This point of view reflects the current state of acmeological science. It is thought that as the theory of acmeology and its methodological foundations are improved, systemic ideas will receive more intensive development, and systemic descriptions of acmeological objects will meet the requirements of this approach.

The development of theoretical and methodological foundations of acmeology based on a systematic approach is its current promising theoretical research direction. However, already now, on the basis of available acmeological knowledge, one can outline the general contours of this direction. In particular, when considering progressive personal and professional development, one can quite reasonably talk about the existence of an acmeological system of professionalism. Its system-forming factor may be the ideal image of a person who has reached the peak in its development, a certain personal standard of professional, social and individual achievements. At the same time, the accepted standard of professionalism of an individual and activity can be a system-forming factor. The subject of development itself can be considered as an object of influences and self-actions in the process of progressive personal and professional changes. Such an understanding of the acmeological system-forming factor in scientific research is often identified with the consideration of a developing personality primarily as a subject (K. A. Abulkhanova, A. V. Brushlinsky, A. S. Ognev and others). The subject of activity in the process of personal and professional development can also be represented as a complex system, described with the help of schemes known in psychology, for example, with the help of K. K. Platonov’s concept about the functional-dynamic structure of personality, personality concept of V. S. Merlin or systemic psychological descriptions proposed by V. A. Gansen. The structural components or subsystems in the acmeological system are, in addition to the subject of activity, a system of skills and abilities, a system of motives, standards and ideals of AKME. This system is multi-level, described by the levels of development of personal properties and professionalism. The means of influence in the acmeological system can also be diverse - from self-actions to training, the direct and feedback connections existing in the system are diverse. We repeat, this is only a sketch, this problem requires special theoretical study.

Subjective approach. At this stage, it is often proclaimed as paradigmatic for acmeology (K. A. Abulkhanova, V. G. Aseev, A. V. Brushlinsky, A. S. Ognev and others), it is considered as the main, determining one. This principle is based on the idea of ​​S. L. Rubinstein about the subject as the center of the organization of being and subjectivity, manifested through the need and ability to improve a person.

In acmeology, a person is considered as a subject of perfection (both self-improvement and mediated by acmeological technologies), which provides for its high free independence and activity in the selection of goals, standards.

The advancement to the first "paradigm" position of the principle of subjectivity, in our opinion, requires a deep justification.

The given argumentation now at times is rather a kind of reaction to the established understanding of the essence of the personality “as a set of social relations” and the desire to go beyond this framework.
Although, in the figurative expression of A. V. Brushlinsky, "... a real person is always a subject."

The principles of psychological determinism and development (K. A. Abulkhanova, L. I. Antsyferova, V. G. Aseev, A. V. Brushlinsky, V. S. Merlin, S. L. Rubinstein), developed in psychology, can be safely considered also having pronounced acmeological content. Determining the internal conditions that encourage self-development, the determinants of this development should become an important component of any acmeological study. The specificity of the principle of determinism in acmeology is manifested in several directions.

The first is that acmeology considers the internal conditions of the personality as the motivating causes and determinants of development.

The second - the driving force of development is the personality itself.

Third, the process of improving the personality has a double determination: internal (unlocking potential) and external (conscious and accepted external influences). At the same time, social determination is increasingly moving to the individual level.

The principle of development in acmeology is understood, if I may say so, unidirectionally - focus only on progressive development, on self-improvement of the personality. Moreover, human development itself should be carried out in the development plans as an individual, subject of activity, personality and individuality. Due to the heterochronous nature of development noted by many in acmeology, we are not talking about harmonious development, at the same time, many researchers emphasize the need to strive for this.

Application of the development principle in acmeology involves:

• understanding of development as improvement, movement towards maturity, the highest level;

• recognition of the subjective nature of development;

• implementation of development through contradictions resolved by the entity;

• individual character of development;

• multifaceted development in various fields;

• realization of potential in the development process.

A characteristic feature of the understanding of personal development in acmeology is its connection with the development of culture. Therefore, in acmeology posed the problem of personality culture as a result of development and way of life.

The next important methodological principle is the need to study a person in his progressive development as an individual, person, subject of labor and individuality. This principle in relation to the main task of the current stage of formation of acmeology involves the study of the development of professionalism in a variety of personal manifestations. In modern acmeological studies, as noted, a professional is considered mainly as an individual and a subject of labor, to a lesser extent as a person, and even less as an individual. As acmeology develops, this principle will be fully implemented.

In acmeological studies, a methodological principle is proclaimed, which has become widespread in psychology, according to which it is necessary to study two equivalent objects - a person and activity. In other words, one cannot study a person in isolation from his activities and activities without the subject of labor. The implementation of this principle in acmeology was carried out in the disclosure of the content of the most important acmeological category at its current stage - “professionalism”. An examination of professionalism in the dialectical unity of its properties as professionalism of an individual and professionalism of activity is proposed.

A separate isolated study of the professionalism of an activity or the professionalism of an individual is methodologically incorrect. But this principle is not limited to issues of professionalism, especially if self-improvement is considered as a special activity. The application of this principle due to its deep content in acmeology requires special studies.

The analysis of the results of acmeological research, as practice shows, is advisable to carry out based on the methodological principle, which consists in the study of "common in separate." It is realized in the search for the general, the special and the singular in that which is connected with the progressive development of a mature personality. In acmeological studies, this principle, in particular, was manifested in the study of the general laws of the formation of professionalism. Moreover, both in the laws characteristic of a particular professional activity, and in the study of individual trajectories of movement towards professional mastery. This principle was implemented in the definition of general and specific acmeological invariants of professionalism.

The methodological principle of activity. For all its substantial evidence and significance, it requires a special explanation. Grounded in its first “engineering-psychological variant” as the principle of an active operator, it was further developed in acmeological research.

This principle is often considered as a particular version of the principle of subjectivity and provides for the dominant role of the subject of labor in determining the paths of movement towards professionalism, the choice of means and methods of personal and professional development.

In acmeological studies, special attention should be paid to what is stable, relatively unchanged in the progressive development of the personality and its professionalism. The search for such stable laws, properties, qualities and characteristics should be based on the principle of invariance. This principle was developed in cybernetics, applied in engineering psychology to create invariant systems "man - machine." In acmeology, it was used to develop the concept of acmeological invariants of the professionalism of specialists in special conditions. His idea is to determine similar parameters of professionalism at the level of general and special, and these parameters are invariant (that is, to a certain extent independent) in nature. In other words, in the structure of professionalism there are components that are inherent in all professionals, regardless of the specifics of their activity, so the development of professionalism should begin first of all with them.

The methodological principle of humanism is also one of the most important for acmeology. Its application in its most general form allows us to state that acmeological knowledge should be primarily aimed at the interests of a person, his progressive personal and professional development. The task of acmeology in accordance with this principle is to develop a person to the level of the humanistic requirements of society or to the level that he himself determined for himself. Without fear of accusations of the declaration of individualism, acmeology, according to this principle, directs the personality towards it itself, but at the same time, this orientation does not mean development “at the expense of others”.

In acmeological studies, particular methodological principles of acmeology, which are of a private nature, are justified and described: psychosocial, optimization, pragmatism, realism, etc. *

* General and Applied Acmeology / Ed. A.A. Derkach. - M.: RAGS, 2001.



The noted general and particular methodological principles determine the methodological space of acmeological research, the specificity and orientation of acmeology, its approaches to man, the social and personal need for this field of knowledge. They made it possible to clarify the acmeological specificity of its object - a developing personality, the subjective nature of this development, aimed at achieving the highest level.

В результате теоретико-методологических исследований была разработана методологическая модель предмета акмеологии, констатирующая переход от реального состояния, качества и уровня развития личности (и ее профессионализма) к будущему идеальному.

Модель включает следующее:

• интегральную характеристику наличного состояния и потенциала личности;

• алгоритмы и способы его развития;

• образ будущего состояния;

• описание контрольных механизмов и функционирования обратных связей.

Алгоритм представляет собой механизм, отражающий сущность акмеологических закономерностей, интегрирующих варианты и характеристики способов действия, развития и связей.
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Методологические основания акмеологии

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