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Features of psychology as a science. Correlation of everyday and scientific psychology.

There are two different areas of psychological knowledge - scientific and everyday, everyday psychology. If scientific psychology arose relatively recently, then everyday psychological knowledge has always been included in various types of human practice. The fundamental condition for the existence of man is a certain conscious representation of the world around him and his place in it. The study of such ideas associated with certain properties of the psyche, the ways people behave, is necessary for the proper organization of life in any society, although it is not in everyday practice an independent, special task. It is no accident that in ancient teachings about man his knowledge was combined with the development of cultural norms of social and personal life. Knowledge of specific psychological laws allowed people to understand each other, to control their own behavior.

Possible examples. 1. The empirical description of human individuality in the work of one of the thinkers of Ancient Greece, Theophrastus “Characters” (L., 1974) became classic for European culture: in the aggregate of everyday actions of people, their typical psychological portraits are determined, based on special character traits and communication with by other people.

2. A collection of everyday psychological observations in the Eastern classics - “Zazzuan” (lit. “mixture”, “notes on different things, see Zazzuan. Sayings of Chinese writers IX-XIX centuries. 2 ed. M., 1975): succinct and witty typical situations causing various emotional states are highlighted.

It is significant that everyday knowledge about the character (and temperament) was generalized in the form of a fairly strict system, the classifications of which were created by the “cooperation” - through the ages — by representatives of various specialties.

A typical example. The classification of temperaments, proposed back in Ancient Rome by the doctor Hippocrates, includes the following types: cheerful and sociable sanguine, pensive, slow phlegmatic, brave, quick-tempered choleric, sad melancholic. Initially, its basis was not psychological characteristics, but the predominance in the human body of one of four fluids: blood (sangwa), mucus (phlegm), bile and black bile (chole and melancholy). Subsequently, the types received a psychological interpretation due, in particular, to the work of Kant and Stendhal, the philosopher and fiction writer, who determined these convenient forms of describing individuals in different ways and on different empirical examples. It is interesting that this classification in our century has received new substantiations in the works of physiologists and psychologists (I.P. Pavlov, G. Aizenk).



The emergence of psychology as a special scientific discipline is associated with the formation of one's own conceptual apparatus and methodological procedures. The main difference between scientific psychology and everyday psychology is that for the last field of research activity is almost infinite, then with the advent of scientific discipline there is a sharp narrowing, a restriction recorded in a special language. A scientific psychologist loses for study (not always irrevocably) whole layers of worldly experience, but the restrictions introduced create new advantages.

In the system of sciences of psychology, a completely special place should be assigned, and for these reasons.

Firstly, this is the science of the most complex that is known to mankind. After all, the psyche is "a property of highly organized matter." If we keep in mind the human psyche, then the word “most” must be added to the words “highly organized matter”: after all, the human brain is the most highly organized matter known to us.

Secondly, psychology is in a special position because the object and subject of cognition seem to merge in it.

To clarify this, I will use one comparison. That man is born into the world. At first, while in infancy, he does not realize and does not remember himself. However, its development is proceeding rapidly. His physical and mental abilities are formed; he learns to walk, see, understand, speak. With the help of these abilities he cognizes the world; begins to act in him; the circle of his communication is expanding. And then, gradually, from the depths of childhood, comes to him and gradually a very special sensation builds up - a sense of self. Somewhere in adolescence, it begins to take on conscious forms. Questions arise: "Who am I? What am I?", And later, "Why me?". Those mental abilities and functions that until now have served the child as a means to master the external world - physical and social, turn to the knowledge of oneself; they themselves become the subject of comprehension and awareness.

The exact same process can be traced to the scale of all mankind. In primitive society, the main forces of people went to the struggle for existence, to the development of the outside world. People made fire, hunted wild animals, fought with neighboring tribes, received the first knowledge of nature.

The tasks of psychology are incomparably more complicated than the tasks of any other science, for only in it does thought make a turn toward itself. Only in it does the scientific consciousness of man become his scientific self-consciousness.

Thirdly, the peculiarity of psychology lies in its unique practical consequences.

The practical results from the development of psychology should become not only incommensurably more significant than the results of any other science, but also qualitatively different. Indeed, to know something means to master this “something”, to learn how to manage it.

Learning to manage your mental processes, functions, and abilities is, of course, a more ambitious task than, for example, space exploration. Moreover, it must be emphasized that, knowing himself, a person will change himself.

Psychology has already accumulated many facts showing how a person’s new knowledge of himself makes him different: he changes his attitudes, goals, his condition and experiences. If we again turn to the scale of all mankind, then we can say that psychology is a science, not only cognizing, but also constructing, creating man. And although this opinion is not generally accepted now, recently voices have been heard louder, calling to comprehend this feature of psychology, which makes it a science of a special type.


Any science has as its basis some everyday, empirical experience of people. Each of us has a stock of everyday psychological knowledge. There are even outstanding worldly psychologists. These, of course, are great writers, as well as some (although not all) representatives of professions that involve constant communication with people: teachers, doctors, clergy, etc. But, I repeat, an ordinary person has certain psychological knowledge. This can be judged by the fact that each person to some extent can understand the other, influence his behavior, predict his actions, take into account his individual characteristics, help him, etc.

five such differences.

First: everyday psychological knowledge is concrete; they are confined to specific situations, specific people, specific tasks. They say that waiters and taxi drivers are also good psychologists. But in what sense, for what tasks? As, we know, often - quite pragmatic. Also, the child solves specific pragmatic tasks, behaving in one way with his mother, in another with his father, and again in a completely different way with his grandmother. In each case, he knows exactly how to behave in order to achieve the desired goal. But it is unlikely that we can expect from him the same insight in relation to the stranger grandmother or mother. So, everyday psychological knowledge is characterized by concreteness, limited tasks, situations and the people to whom they apply.

Scientific psychology, like any science, seeks generalizations. To do this, she uses scientific concepts. The development of concepts is one of the most important functions of science. In scientific concepts, the most essential properties of objects and phenomena, general relationships and relationships are reflected. Scientific concepts are clearly defined, correlated with each other, linked into laws.

The second difference between everyday psychological knowledge is that they are intuitive. This is due to a special way of obtaining them: they are acquired through practical tests and adjustments. A similar method is especially clearly seen in children. I have already mentioned their good psychological intuition. And how is it achieved? Through daily and even hourly trials to which they subject adults and which the latter are not always aware of. And during these tests, children discover from whom it is possible to "twist the rope", and from whom it is impossible.

Teachers and trainers often find effective ways of education, training, training, going the same way: experimenting and vigilantly noting the slightest positive results, that is, in a sense, "going to the touch." Often they turn to psychologists with a request to explain the psychological meaning of the techniques they have found.

In contrast, scientific psychological knowledge is rational and fully conscious. The usual way is to put forward verbally formulated hypotheses and test the consequences that follow logically.

The third difference is in the ways of transferring knowledge and even in the very possibility of transferring it. In the field of practical psychology, this possibility is very limited. This directly follows from the two previous features of everyday psychological experience - its concrete and intuitive nature. The profound psychologist F. M. Dostoevsky expressed his intuition in the works he wrote, we all read them - after that we became equally insightful psychologists? Is life experience transmitted from the older generation to the younger? As a rule, with great difficulty and to a very small extent. The eternal problem of “fathers and children” consists precisely in the fact that children cannot and do not even want to adopt the experience of fathers. Each new generation, each young man has to "cones" himself to gain this experience.

At the same time, in science, knowledge is accumulated and transmitted with great, so to speak, efficiency. Someone has long compared the representatives of science with the pygmies who stand on the shoulders of giants - outstanding scientists of the past. They may be much shorter, but they see further than the giants, because they stand on their shoulders. The accumulation and transfer of scientific knowledge is possible due to the fact that this knowledge crystallizes in concepts and laws. They are recorded in the scientific literature and transmitted using verbal means, i.e., speech and language, which, in fact, we began to do today.

The fourth difference is in the methods of obtaining knowledge in the fields of worldly and scientific psychology. In everyday psychology, we are forced to limit ourselves to observation and reflection. In scientific psychology, an experiment is added to these methods.

the fifth difference, and at the same time the advantage, of scientific psychology lies in the fact that it has extensive, diverse, and sometimes unique, factual material that is not available in its entirety to any bearer of everyday psychology. This material is accumulated and comprehended, including in special branches of psychological science, such as age-related psychology, pedagogical psychology, patho- and neuropsychology, labor psychology and engineering psychology, social psychology, zoopsychology, etc. In these areas, dealing with various stages and levels of mental development of animals and humans, with defects and diseases of the psyche, with unusual working conditions - stress conditions, information overloads, or, conversely, monotony and information hunger, etc. , - the psychologist not only expands the scope of his research tasks, but also faces new unexpected phenomena. After all, consideration of the operation of a mechanism under conditions of development, breakdown, or functional overload from different angles highlights its structure and organization.

A scientific psychologist must be both a good everyday psychologist. Otherwise, he will not only be of little use to science, but will not find himself in his profession, simply put, he will be unhappy.

The relations of scientific and everyday psychology are similar to the relations of Antei and the Earth; the first, touching the second, draws its strength from it.

So, scientific psychology, firstly, is based on everyday psychological experience; secondly, it extracts its tasks from it; finally, thirdly, at the last stage he checks.
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Features of psychology as a science. Correlation of everyday and scientific psychology.

  1. Correlation of scientific and everyday psychology
    Long before the advent of scientific, everyday psychology developed, because each of us is a psychologist for ourselves. In the entire history of evolution, man has learned: to observe other people, to explain the reasons for their behavior. According to the American psychologist George Kelly, a person explores, studies others and constructs them in his mind. So, all nations have similar observations of people,
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