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Features of psychology as a science. The ratio 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, ways of human behavior is necessary for the proper organization of the life of any society, although it is not an independent, special task in everyday practice. Not by chance in the ancient teachings of man his knowledge was combined with the development of cultural norms of public and personal life. Knowledge of specific psychological patterns allowed people to understand each other, to manage their own behavior.

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

2. The collection of everyday psychological observations in the Eastern classics - "Zazuan" (complete "mix", "notes on various things", see Zazzuan. Sayings of Chinese writers of the 9th-19th centuries. 2nd ed. M., 1975): concisely and wittily highlighted typical situations that cause different emotional states.

It is significant that everyday knowledge about the character (and temperament) was generalized in the form of a fairly strict system, the classification in the creation of which "collaborated" - over the centuries - representatives of the most diverse specialties.

A typical example. The temperament classification proposed by Hippocrates as early as in ancient Rome includes the following types: cheerful and sociable sanguine, brooding, slow phlegmatic, brave, quick-tempered choleric, sad melancholic. Initially, it was based not on psychological features, but on the predominance of one of four fluids in the human body: blood (sangwa), mucus (phlegm), bile and black bile (chole and melanchol). In consequence, the types received a psychological interpretation due, in particular, to the works of Kant and Stendhal, a philosopher and fiction writer, who in various ways and on various empirical examples defined these convenient forms of describing individuals. Interestingly, this classification and in our century has received new substantiations in the works of physiologists and psychologists (I.P. Pavlov, G. Ayzenk).

The emergence of psychology as a special scientific discipline is associated with the formation of its own conceptual apparatus and methodological procedures. The main difference between scientific psychology and everyday life is that for the latter the field of research activity is almost infinite, then with the advent of scientific discipline, a sharp narrowing occurs, a limitation fixed in a special language. The scientific psychologist loses to study (not always permanently) whole strata of everyday experience, but the restrictions imposed create new advantages.

A very special place should be given in the system of sciences of psychology, and for what reasons.

Firstly, it is the science of the most complex, that is so far known to mankind. After all, the psyche is a "property of highly organized matter." If we keep in mind the human psyche, then the words “highly organized matter” need to be added with the word “most”: 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 the subject of cognition seem to merge in it.

To clarify this, I will use one comparison. Here is a man born. At first, being in infancy, he does not realize and does not remember himself. However, its development is fast. Formed his physical and mental abilities; he learns to walk, see, understand, talk. With these abilities, he knows the world; begins to act in it; his circle of communication is expanding. And so gradually, from the depths of childhood, a very special feeling comes to him and gradually grows - a feeling of one’s own “I”. Somewhere in adolescence, it begins to acquire conscious forms. There are questions: "Who am I? What am I?", And later, "Why am I?". Those psychic abilities and functions that until now have served the child as a means for mastering the external world, physical and social, turn to self-knowledge; they themselves become the subject of reflection and awareness.

Exactly the 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 master the outside world. People made fire, hunted wild animals, fought with the neighboring tribes, received the first knowledge about nature.

The tasks of psychology are immeasurably more complicated than the tasks of any other science, for only in it does thought make a turn to itself. Only in her does the scientific consciousness of a person 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 be not only disproportionately more significant than the results of any other science, but also qualitatively different. After all, to know something is 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. In this case, it is necessary to especially emphasize that, knowing itself, a person will change himself.

Psychology has already accumulated a lot of facts showing how a person’s new knowledge about himself makes him different: it changes his attitudes, goals, his states and experiences. If we go back to the scale of all mankind, then we can say that psychology is a science, not only cognizing, but also constructive, creative of man. And although this opinion is not now generally accepted, voices have recently been becoming louder, calling for a comprehension of this feature of psychology, which makes it a special type of science.

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 everyday psychologists. These are, of course, great writers, as well as some (though not all) representatives of professions that involve constant communication with people: teachers, doctors, clergymen, etc. But, I repeat, an ordinary person also has certain psychological knowledge. This can be judged by the fact that each person can in some way 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 specific pragmatic tasks are solved by the child, behaving one way with the mother, the other with the father, and again quite differently with the grandmother. In each case, he knows exactly how to behave in order to achieve the desired goal. But we can hardly expect from him the same insight towards foreign grandmothers or mothers. Thus, everyday psychological knowledge is characterized by specificity, limited tasks, situations and persons to whom they apply.

Scientific psychology, as well as any science, tends to generalizations. For this she uses scientific concepts. The development of concepts is one of the most important functions of science. The most essential properties of objects and phenomena, general connections and relationships are reflected in scientific concepts. Scientific concepts are clearly defined, correlated with each other, are bound in laws.

The second difference in everyday psychological knowledge is that they are intuitive in nature. This is due to a special way of obtaining them: they are acquired through practical tests and adjustments. This method is particularly 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 about which the latter are not always aware. And in the course of these tests, children discover from whom it is possible to "twist the ropes" and from whom it is impossible.

Often, educators and coaches find effective ways of educating, teaching, training, going the same way: experimenting and vigilantly noticing the slightest positive results, that is, in a certain sense, "going to touch." Often they turn to psychologists with a request to explain the psychological meaning of the techniques they found.

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

The third difference is in the ways of transferring knowledge and even in the very possibility of their transfer. In the field of practical psychology, this possibility is very limited. This directly follows from the two previous features of everyday psychological experience - its specific and intuitive nature. The profound psychologist F. M. Dostoevsky expressed his intuition in the works he wrote, we all read them - did we become equally astute psychologists after that? Is everyday 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 learn from the experience of fathers. Each new generation, each young man has to “fill the bumps” to acquire this experience.

At the same time, knowledge accumulates in science and is transmitted with a large, if I may say so, efficiency. Someone has long compared the representatives of science with the pygmies, who stand on the shoulders of giants - eminent scientists of the past. They may be much smaller, but they see further than 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 by means of verbal means, that is, 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 everyday and scientific psychology. In everyday psychology, we are forced to limit ourselves to observations and reflections. In scientific psychology, an experiment is added to these methods.

The fifth difference, and at the same time an advantage, of scientific psychology is that it has extensive, diverse and sometimes unique factual material that is inaccessible in its entirety to any carrier of everyday psychology. This material is accumulated and comprehended, including in special branches of psychological science, such as age psychology, pedagogical psychology, pato- and neuropsychology, labor psychology and engineering psychology, social psychology, zoopsychology, etc. In these areas, dealing with various stages and levels of the mental development of animals and humans, with defects and mental illnesses, with unusual working conditions - conditions of stress, information overload or, on the contrary, monotony and information hunger, etc. , - the psychologist not only expands the range of his research tasks, but also faces new unexpected phenomena. After all, consideration of the work of any mechanism in terms of development, breakdown or functional overload from different sides highlights its structure and organization.

A scientific psychologist should be at the same time a good everyday psychologist. Otherwise, he will not only be of little use to science, but will not find himself in his profession, quite simply, he will be unhappy.

The relationship of scientific and everyday psychology is similar to the relationship of Anthea and the Earth; the first, touching the second, draws its strength from it.

So, scientific psychology, firstly, relies on everyday psychological experience; secondly, extracts its tasks from it; finally, thirdly, at the last stage they are checked.
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Features of psychology as a science. The ratio of everyday and scientific psychology.

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